28 Dec 2021 6:16 AM GMT
As the end of year 2021 is nearing, LiveLaw brings to you an yearly Round-up of Supreme Court judgments. This yearly digest includes 765 orders and judgments, listed in the order of LiveLaw citation index.Due to the bulky size of the digest, it is being published in three parts. This part covers citations from 1 to 250. Part two will cover citations from 250 to 500 and part three will...
As the end of year 2021 is nearing, LiveLaw brings to you an yearly Round-up of Supreme Court judgments. This yearly digest includes 765 orders and judgments, listed in the order of LiveLaw citation index.
Due to the bulky size of the digest, it is being published in three parts. This part covers citations from 1 to 250. Part two will cover citations from 250 to 500 and part three will cover citations from 500 to 765. Part 2 can be read here. Part 3 can be read here.
1. Supreme Court Upholds Centre's Plan For The Central Vista Project by 2:1 Majority, Justice Khanna Dissents
[Case: Rajeev Suri v. DDA & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 1]
The Supreme Court upheld the Central Government's plan for construction of the Central Vista project and the government's proposal to construct a new Parliament in Lutyen's Delhi. A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna pronounced the judgement, with Justices Khanwilkar and Maheshwari forming the majority, and with Justice Khanna pronouncing a separate judgement.
"We cannot be called upon to govern. For, we have no wherewithal or prowess and expertise in that regard," remarked the Judges in majority. Justice Khanna on the other hand expressed dissent on the aspects of public participation on interpretation of the statutory provisions, failure to take prior approval of the Heritage Conservation Committee and the order passed by the Expert Appraisal Committee.
Also Read: Central Vista- Lack Of Public Consultation, No Approval From HCC, Non Speaking Order Granting Environment Clearance: Justice Sanjiv Khanna In His Dissent
Also Read: 'We Cannot Be Called Upon To Govern. For We Have No Wherewithal or Prowess And Expertise In That Regard': Supreme Court In Central Vista Case
2. Absolute Devotion, Integrity And Honesty Is A Sine Qua Non For Every Bank Employee: Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal Of A Bank Clerk
[Case: Deputy General Manager (Appellate Authority) & Ors. v. Ajai Kumar Srivastava; Citation: LL 2021 SC 2]
In banking business absolute devotion, integrity and honesty is a sine qua non for every bank employee, observed a bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi while upholding dismissal of a bank employee.
Access full report to read observations regarding power of judicial review in the matter of disciplinary proceedings
3. Motor Accident Compensation- Future Prospects Can Be Granted Even In Cases Pertaining To Notional Income: Supreme Court
[Case: Kirti v. Oriental Insurance Company Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 3]
A bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, S. Abdul Nazeer and Surya Kant held that future prospects can be granted even in cases pertaining to notional income. The court observed thus while disposing an appeal arising out of Motor Accident Compensation Claim filed by heirs of a deceased couple who died in an accident. In this case, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal awarded a total sum of Rs 40.71 lakhs for both deceased to the claimants. Partly allowing the appeal filed by Insurance Company, the High Court reversed the addition of future prospects.
Also Read: Conception That House Makers Do Not "Work" Or That They Do Not Add Economic Value To The Household Is A Problematic Idea
Also Read: Advocates Cannot Throwaway Legal Rights Or Enter Into Arrangements Contrary To Law
4. Governing Body Of College Is The Proper Authority To Appoint Administrative Staffs Of A College
[Case: Chairperson Governing Body Daulat Ram College v. Dr. Asha; Citation: LL 2021 SC 4]
A bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice M.R. Shah observed that it is the Governing Body of a College which has the authority to appoint the administrative staffs of a College.
"The Principal, however, who is entrusted the over all internal administration of the College is a person who knows all the staff of the College and his/her recommendation with regard to appointment of Warden of the College Hostel is to carry weight. The Governing Body while making appointment of Warden of the College Hostel has to give due weight to the recommendation of Principal", the Court observed.
5. Acceptance Of A Conditional Offer With A Further Condition Does Not Result In A Concluded Contract
[Case: M/s. Padia Timber Company(P) Ltd. v. Board of Trustees of Visakhapatnam Port Trust; Citation: LL 2021 SC 5]
When the acceptor puts in a new condition while accepting the contract already signed by the proposer, the contract is not complete until the proposer accepts that condition, a bench comprising Justices Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee observed.
"It is a cardinal principle of the law of contract that the offer and acceptance of an offer must be absolute. It can give no room for doubt. The offer and acceptance must be based or founded on three components, that is, certainty, commitment and communication. However, when the acceptor puts in a new condition while accepting the contract already signed by the proposer, the contract is not complete until the proposer accepts that condition," the Bench said.
6. Supreme Court Acquits Man Who Was Sentenced To Death In A Dacoity With Murder Case
[Case Title: Hari Om @ Hero v. State Of UP; Citation: LL 2021 SC 6]
A bench comprising Justices Uday Umesh Lalit, Indu Malhotra and Krishna Murari acquitted a man who was sentenced to death in a dacoity with murder case. It observed that it is not safe to rely on the version given by the child witness [youngest son of the deceased] in the instant case, who was about five years of age when the incident had occurred. The court, on reappreciating the evidence on record, noted that there are certain inconsistencies or infirmities in his deposition.
7. High Court's Power Under Article 226/227 To Interfere With Arbitration Process Needs To Be Exercised In Exceptional Rarity
[Case: Bhaven Construction v. Executive Engineer Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam; Citation: LL 2021 SC 7]
A bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy observed that the power of the High Courts under Article 226/227 of the Constitution of India to interfere with an arbitration process needs to be exercised in exceptional rarity, wherein one party is left remediless under the statute or a clear 'bad faith' shown by one of the parties. "If the Courts are allowed to interfere with the arbitral process beyond the ambit of the enactment, then the efficiency of the process will be diminished," the Court said.
8. An Accused Who Was Released On Default Bail Cannot Be Re-arrested On Filing Of Charge Sheet
[Case: Kamlesh Chaudhary v. State of Rajasthan; Citation: LL 2021 SC 8]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Navin Sinha and Indu Malhotra held that an accused who was released on default bail cannot be re-arrested on filing of charge-sheet by police. Reliance was placed on Bashir v. State of Haryana [(1977) 4 SCC 410] wherein it was held that it is open to the prosecution to file an application for cancellation of bail on the grounds known to law and the receipt of the charge sheet in Court can by itself be no ground for cancellation of bail.
9. Constitutional Challenge Can Be Addressed Before High Court': Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Challenging Provisions Of GST Act
[Case: Devendra Dwivedi v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 9]
A Bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna declined to entertain a writ petition challenging constitutional validity of various provisions of the Central Goods Service Tax Act, 2017. "We are of the view that it would be appropriate to relegate the petitioner to the remedy of a petition under Article 226 so that this Court has the benefit of the considered view of the jurisdictional High Court," the Court observed.
10. Managing A Construction Project Is Not Within The Jurisdiction Of Courts Supreme Court
[Case: Shelly Lal v. Union Of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 10]
Managing a construction project is not within the jurisdiction of the court, bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indira Banerjee and Sanjeev Khanna observed while declining to entertain a writ petition filed by 25 customers of a construction project. The petitioners sought a direction for the revival of the project or refund of the money, and a court monitored probe in the matter. Taking note of the prayers made, the observed:
"Essentially, the writ petition requires the Court to step into the construction project and to ensure that it is duly completed. This would be beyond the remit and competence of the Court under Article 32. Managing a construction project is not within the jurisdiction of the court."
11. Fact Of Amicable Settlement Can Be A Relevant Factor For Purpose Of Reducing Quantum Of Sentence
[Case: Murali v. State; Citation: LL 2021 SC 11]
A Bench of Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose observed that the fact of amicable settlement can be a relevant factor for the purpose of reduction in the quantum of sentence. The court also noticed that 1) parties to the dispute have mutually buried their hatchet 2) That at the time of the incident, the victim was a college student, and both accused too were no older than 2022 years 3) They have no other criminal antecedents, no previous enmity, and today are married and have children 4) They have served a significant portion of their sentences.
12. Munsiff Magistrate Selection- Vacancies Attributable To 2020 Cannot Be Filled Up From The List Drawn For Previous Selection Year: SC Sets Aside Kerala HC Judgment
[Case: High Court of Kerala v. Reshma A.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 12]
A Division bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee set aside the judgment of the Kerala High Court which directed filling up of additional vacancies of Munsiff-Magistrate posts from the current rank list, over and above the notified vacancies.
"Vacancies for 2020 must be allocated to candidates who are duly selected in pursuance of the recruitment process for 2020. Candidates who have ranked lower in the 2019 selection and were unable to obtain appointments cannot appropriate the vacancies of a subsequent year to themselves," the Court observed.
13. The Ground That Allegations Of Fraud Are Not Arbitrable Is A Wholly Archaic View, Deserves To Be Discarded: Supreme Court
[Case: NN Global Mercantile Pvt. Ltd v. Indo Unique Flame Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 13]
The ground that allegations of fraud are not arbitrable is a wholly archaic view, which has become obsolete, and deserves to be discarded, a Bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee observed. It observed thus while holding that the allegations of fraud with respect to the invocation of the Bank Guarantee are arbitrable, since it arises out of disputes between parties inter se, and is not in the realm of public law.
Also Read: Whether Non-Payment Of Stamp Duty On Commercial Contract Will Invalidate Arbitration Agreement? Supreme Court Refers Issue To Constitution Bench
14. 'Entirely Illegal Construction': Supreme Court Directs Demolition Of A Hotel-cum-Restaurant Built In Forest Land In Himachal Pradesh
[Case: Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management & Development Authority v. Central Empowered Committee; Citation: LL 2021 SC 14]
The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee dismissed an appeal filed by Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management and Development Authority and the NGT order directing demolition of a Hotel-cum-Restaurant in the Bus Stand Complex at McLeod Ganj in Himachal Pradesh. The bench discussed the concept of Environmental rule of law and also the role of courts in ensuring environmental protection. The court said that the environmental rule of law, at a certain level, is a facet of the concept of the rule of law.
15. Incorporation Of One-sided And Unreasonable Clauses In Apartment Buyer's Agreement Constitutes An 'Unfair Trade Practice': Supreme Court
[Case: Ireo Grace Realtech Pvt. Ltd. v. Abhishek Khanna; Citation: LL 2021 SC 14A]
The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee held that the incorporation of one-sided and unreasonable clauses in the Apartment Buyer's Agreement constitutes an unfair trade practice under Section 2(1)(r) of the Consumer Protection Act. It also observed that the Developer cannot compel the apartment buyers to be bound by the one-sided contractual terms contained in the Apartment Buyer's Agreement.
16. Primary Agricultural Credit Society Entitled To Deduction U/s 80P Income Tax Act Even If They Give Loans To Members For Non-Agricultural Activities: Supreme Court
[Case: Mavilayi Service Cooperative Bank Ltd. v. Commissioner Of Income Tax, Calicut & Anr.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 15]
A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph held that Cooperative Societies registered as primary agricultural credit societies are entitled to deductions under section 80P(2)(a)(i) of the Income-Tax Act,even when they may also be giving loans to their members which are not related to agriculture. It thereby set aside a Full Bench judgment of the Kerala High Court which had held that such societies are not entitled to the deduction under Section 80P when loans are given to members for non-agricultural purposes.
17. 'Consensual Affair' Is Not A Defence Against A Charge Of Kidnapping A Minor: Supreme Court
[Case: Anversinh @ Kiransinh Fatesinh Zala v. State of Gujarat; Citation: LL 2021 SC 16]
A bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, S. Abdul Nazeer and Surya Kant observed that the a 'consensual affair' is not a defence against the charge of kidnapping a minor. A minor girl's infatuation with her alleged kidnapper cannot by itself be allowed as a defence, for the same would amount to surreptitiously undermining the protective essence of the offence of kidnapping, the Court said.
18. Farm Laws Implementation Stayed, Committee Formed For Talks, MSP To Continue
[Case: Rakesh Vaishnav & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 17]
A three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court stayed the operation of Three Farm Laws until further Orders. As per the order:
(i) Implementation of three farm laws stayed; (ii)MSP system as it existed before the enactment of the laws must be continued; (iii)No farmer must be dispossessed or deprived of his title as a result of any action taken under the laws; (iv) Committee comprising Bhupinder Singh Mann, Pramod Kumar Joshi, Ashok Gulati, Anil Ghanwant constituted for the 'purpose of listening to the grievances of farmers relating to the farm laws and views of the government to make recommendations'; (v)The Committee shall be provided a place at Delhi and Govt to bear its expenses and give it secretarial assistance; (vi)The representatives of all the farmers' bodies, whether they are holding a protest or not and whether they support or oppose the laws SHALL participate in the deliberations of the Committee and put forth their view points'; (vii) The Committee should file the report within 2 months before the Supreme Court.
Latest Update: Parliament Passes Farm Laws Repeal Bill
19. SC Directs Reopening Of Anganwadi Centres Outside CZ, Directs To Ensure Nutritional Support To Pregnant Women, Lactating Mothers And Children
[Case: Dipika Hagatram Sahant v. Union of India & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 18]
A three-judge comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Subhash Reddy and Justice MR Shah directed the Union of India, States and Union Territories to reopen the anganwadi centres situated outside the containment zones, which were closed due to pandemic, to provide nutritional support to children, pregnant women and lactating mothers in accordance with the statutory requirements of National Food Security Act, 2013. The court however directed that the decision of not opening the anganwadi centres can only be taken after proper consultation of with State Disaster Management Authority in any area situated outside the containment zones.
20. Writ Jurisdiction Cannot Be Utilised By A Litigant Only To Take Chance: Supreme Court
[Case: Vellanki Frame Works v. Commercial Tax Officer; Citation: LL 2021 SC 19]
"In our view, the extraordinary writ jurisdiction cannot be utilised by a litigant only to take chance and then to seek recourse to the other remedy after failing in its attempt on the basic merits of the case before the High Court", the Supreme Court bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari remarked while dismissing an appeal filed against the judgment passed by High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh.
21. Supreme Court Takes Suo Moto Action On 'Remediation Of Polluted Rivers'; To Start With Yamuna
[Case Title: Delhi Jal Board v. State of Haryana & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 20]
A bench comprising then Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian took suo moto cognizance on the issue of "remediation of polluted rivers". It observed that one of the major causes of water pollution was the discharge of non treated/ partially treated municipal waste and effluents of various States and cities.
22. Supreme Court Slaps Rs. 25K Costs On Gujarat Government For Its Lethargy & Incompetence Of Filing SLPs Belatedly
[Case: State Of Gujarat v. Deep Association; Citation: LL 2021 SC 21]
A Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy imposed costs of Rupees 25,000 on Gujarat Government for filing special leave petitions with a delay of more than one year. In one of the SLPs, the Government stated that the delay of 476 days have not been caused deliberately but on account of various steps required to be taken by the department at different level before taking a decision for filing an appeal and the time taken in getting the judgment and other documents before the Court.
23. Is Appointment Of Arbitrator By Ineligible Person Valid? Supreme Court Refers Issue To Larger Bench
[Case: Union of India v. M/S Tantia Constructions Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 22]
A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph doubted the correctness of the decision in Central Organisation for Railway Electrification v. M/s ECI-SPIC-SMO-MCML (JV) A Joint Venture Company and referred to larger bench the issue whether the appointment of an arbitrator by a person, who is disqualified to be an arbitrator as per Section 12(5) of the Arbitration Act, is valid.
In Central Organization of Railway Electrification, a division bench had held that such appointments by an authority who is disqualified from being an arbitrator can be valid depending on the facts. On the other hand, an earlier decision delivered by a 2-judge bench headed by Justice Nariman in the case Bharat Broadband Network Ltd v. United Telecoms Ltd(April 2019) had held that he appointment of arbitrator by a person who himself is ineligible to be an arbitrator as per Section 12(5) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 is void ab initio.
24. Prescription Of Higher Educational Qualification As A Qualification For Promotion Is Not Unconstitutional: Supreme Court
[Case: Ashok Kumar v. State Of Jammu & Kashmir; Citation: LL 2021 SC 23]
A bench comprising of then CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian held that prescription of a Higher educational qualification as a qualification for promotion to a post cannot be held as violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. It observed thus while setting aside a Judgment of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court which quashed an administrative Order of the Chief Justice prescribing certain qualifications for promotion to the post of Head Assistant.
25. Manipal Fraud Case: Supreme Court Grants Bail To Former Employee Sandeep Gururaj
[Case: Sandeep Gururaj v. State of Karnataka; Citation: LL 2021 SC 24]
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy granted bail to Sandeep Gururaj, Former Deputy General Manager of Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG), accused of siphoning off funds (reportedly 62 Crores) from the company accounts. It noted that the instant case is not one of public money being involved but monies of the concerned corporate entities.
26. Supreme Court Upholds Sections 3, 4 & 10 Of IBC Amendment Act 2020
[Case: Manish Kumar v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 25]
A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph upheld the constitutional validity of Sections 3, 4 and 10 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Act 2020, in effect upholding the threshold limit on homebuyers. The Court rejected the petitioners' contentions that such conditions on homebuyers amounted to hostile discrimination violating the equality principle under Article 14 of the Constitution.
Also Read: Minimum Threshold For Homebuyers' Insolvency Process Against Builder Shields Frivolous & Avoidable Applications : Supreme Court
Also Read: 'Malice' Is Not A Ground To Challenge A Law Made By Legislature : Supreme Court
27. Segmentation Of A (National Highway) Project As A Strategy To Avoid Environmental Clearance Impermissible: Supreme Court
[Case: NHAI v. Pandarinathan Govindarajul; Citation: LL 2021 SC 26]
A bench comprising of Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi held that there is no requirement for obtaining environmental clearances for NH 45-A Villuppuram -Nagapattinam Highway, as land acquisition is not more than 40 meters on existing alignments and 60 meters on realignments or by passes. Thus, allowing the appeal filed by National Highway Authority of India, the Bench set aside the Madras High Court judgment which had held that it is necessary.
28. Benefit Of Probation (PO Act) Is Not Excluded By Mandatory Minimum Sentences Prescribed For IPC Offences: Supreme Court
[Case: Lakhvir Singh v. State of Punjab; Citation: LL 2021 SC 27]
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy observed that the benefit of probation under Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 is not excluded by the provisions of the mandatory minimum sentence prescribed for offences under IPC.
29. Only Wilful And Deliberate Disobedience To Court's Order Amounts To Contempt: Supreme Court
[Case: Rama Narang v. Ramesh Narang; Citation: LL 2021 SC 28]
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and BR Gavai observed that before punishing a person for non-compliance of the decision of the Court, the Court must not only be satisfied about the disobedience of any judgment, decree, direction, writ or other process but should also be satisfied that such disobedience was wilful and intentional. It added that the contempt proceedings are quasi-criminal in nature and the standard of proof required is in the same manner as in the other criminal cases.
30. Rape Victim Also Suffers Discrimination From Society: Supreme Court Issues Directives To Jharkhand Administration In A Rape Victim's Plea
[Case: X v. State of Jharkhand; Citation: LL 2021 SC 29]
A rape victim suffers not only a mental trauma but also discrimination from the society, the Supreme Court said while disposing a writ petition filed by a Rape Victim belonging to a Scheduled Tribe in Jharkhand. Taking note of the fact that the identity of the rape victim in this case was disclosed by the media, resulting in a troublesome life for her, the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah issued several directives to the State Government.
Access full report to read directions
31. Supreme Court Dismisses Review Petitions Challenging Aadhaar Verdict, Justice Chandrachud Dissents
[Case: Beghar Foundation v. Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.); Citation: LL 2021 SC 30]
The Supreme Court, by 4:1 majority, dismissed a batch of review petitions challenging the judgment of the Constitution Bench in Aadhaar case [Puttaswamy (Aadhaar-5J.) v Union of India]. While Justices AM Khanwilkar, Ashok Bhushan, S. Abdul Nazeer and BR Gavai observed that no case for review of judgment, Justice DY Chandrachud expressed his dissent.
According to majority, a change in the law or subsequent decision/judgment of a coordinate or larger Bench by itself cannot be regarded as a ground for review. On the other hand, Justice Chandrachud opined that the review petitions should be kept pending until the larger bench decides the questions referred to it in Rojer Mathew.
Also Read: Constitutional Error To Hold At This Stage That No Ground Exists To Review Aadhaar Verdict: Justice Chandrachud Dissents
32. Criminal Court Exercising Bail Jurisdiction Is Not Expected To Act As Recovery Agent To Realize Dues Of Complainant: Supreme Court
[Case: Dilip Singh v. State of Madhya Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 31]
A bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna observed that a criminal court, exercising jurisdiction to grant bail/anticipatory bail, is not expected to act as a recovery agent to realise the dues of the complainant. It observed thus while setting aside a condition imposed by Madhya Pradesh High Court on an accused while granting him anticipatory bail.
Access full report to read the factors elucidated by Court to be taken into consideration while considering an application for bail
33. 'Bordering On Professional Misconduct': Supreme Court To Proceed Against A Lawyer For Speculating About Outcome Of A Pending Appeal
[Case: Madhavendra L Bhatnagar v. Bhavna Lall; Citation: LL 2021 SC 32]
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari pulled up a lawyer who, in his advice to his client, allegedly speculated about the outcome of a pending appeal before it. Prima facie, this, in our opinion, is bordering on professional misconduct and needs to be proceeded with, the Court said and directed the party to file an affidavit and disclose the name of the said advocate.
34. Section 12(5) Of Arbitration & Conciliation Act Which Deals With Ineligibility Of Appointment As Arbitrator Is A Mandatory & Non-Derogable Provision: Supreme Court
[Case: Haryana Space Application Centre v. Pan India Consultants Pvt. Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 33]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi observed that the Section 12(5) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act read with the Seventh Schedule, which deals with ineligibility of a person to be appointed as an Arbitrator, is a mandatory and non-derogable provision of the Act.
35. Dismissal Of Workman By Employer Cannot Be Interfered With Merely Because Disciplinary Enquiry Was Not Conducted: Supreme Court
[Case: State of Uttarakhand v. Sureshwati; Citation: LL 2021 SC 34]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Navin Sinha and Indu Malhotra observed that dismissal of a workman by his/her employer cannot be interfered with merely on the ground that it did not conduct a disciplinary enquiry, if the latter could justify the action before the Labour Court. Where an employer has failed to make an enquiry before dismissal or discharge of a workman, it is open for him to justify the action before the Labour Court by leading evidence before it, the Court said.
36. Supreme Courts Directs A Family Court In UP To Conduct Trial Through Video Conferencing
[Case Title: Anjali Brahmawar Chauhan v. Navin Chauhan; Citation: LL 2021 SC 35]
Taking note of the pandemic situation, a bench comprising then CJI SA Bobde, L. Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran directed a Family Court in Uttar Pradesh to conduct the trial through video conferencing.
37. Supreme Court Issues Directions For Inter-State Virtual Recording Of Evidences Of Child Witnesses In Human Trafficking Cases
[Case Title: In Re: Contagion of COVID19 Virus In Children Protection Homes; Citation: LL 2021 SC 36]
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Abdul Nazeer and Indu Malhotra issued directions for virtual recording of testimonies of child victims/witnesses of human trafficking who are required to depose in courts which are far away from the place of their residence in a different State. The Directions are as follows: (i) record child victims' testimonies via video conferencing; (ii) States to give information about child witnesses of human trafficking cases; etc.
Access full report to read all directions
38. "Whether 'Advocate On Record' Includes Sole Proprietary Firm?" Supreme Court Leaves The Question To SC Rule Making Authority
[Case Title: In Re: Advocate On Record Includes A Proprietary Firm Etc.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 37]
In context of the 2013 Supreme Court Rules, a bench of Justices SK Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy left it to the Rule making authorities to examine whether they would like to expand the registration of Advocates on Record to permit persons to carry on the profession in the style and name of a sole proprietorship firm.
39. Supreme Court Grants Bail To Kannada Actress Ragini Dwivedi In Sandalwood Drug Case
[Case: Ragini Dwivedi @ Gini @ Rags v. State Of Karnataka; Citation: LL 2021 SC 38]
A Bench headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman granted bail to Kannada actor Ragini Dwivedi, who had been arrested by the police for allegedly consuming and supplying drugs at parties and events organized by her and others, and set aside a Karnataka High Court order wherein her bail plea was dismissed. The Bench noted that Section 37 of the NDPS Act had been wrongly invoked by the Sessions Court and the High Court.
40. High Court Exercising Bail Jurisdiction Cannot Pass Directions Which Will Have Direct Bearing Upon Trial: Supreme Court
[Case: Prashant Dagajirao Patil v. Vaibhav @ Sonu Arun Pawar; Citation: LL 2021 SC 39]
A bench comprising Justice NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose observed that a High Court, while exercising bail jurisdiction, cannot issue directions which will have a direct bearing upon the trial. It observed thus while setting aside a direction of the High Court in a case, in which it directed the Investigating Officer to examine a CCTV footage and to submit a report.
41. Deprivation Of Property Right Can Only Be In Accordance With The Procedure Established By Law: Supreme Court
[Case: Bajranga (Dead) By Lrs v. State of Madhya Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 40]
Deprivation of property right can only be in accordance with the procedure established by law, reiterated a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy while considering a case involving proceedings under Madhya Pradesh Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Act, 1960.
42. Supreme Court Directs Delhi University To Declare 5th Semester Results Of Law Student Who Had Attendance Shortage Due To Pregnancy
[Case: Ankita Meena v. University Of Delhi; Citation: LL 2021 SC 41]
A bench comprising then CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian directed the Delhi University to declare the 5th Semester result of a law student who could not meet the requisite 70% attendance criteria due to her pregnancy.
43. Mutation Entries Do Not By Themselves Confer Title, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Commissioner, Bruhath Bangalore Mahanagara Palike v. Faraulla Khan; Citation: LL 2021 SC 42]
A bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna reiterated that mutation entries do not by themselves confer title. It observed thus while disposing an appeal filed by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike against a Karnataka High Court judgment directing it to mutate a property in the name of some parties. The contention was that, there is a title suit pending in relation to the subject property and therefore the High Court ought not to have issued a direction for mutation.
44. Supreme Court Modifies Its Direction On Constitution Of Search Cum Selection Committee For Appointment Of Tribunal Members
[Case: Madras Bar Association v. Union Of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 43]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat modified a direction issued by it in the matter of constitution of Search-cum-Selection Committee for appointment of members of the tribunals.
It allowed Centre's request to modify a direction issued in Madras Bar Association v. Union of India [dated 27 November 2020] by substituting the 'Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India' who was made a member of the Search-cum-Selection Committee, by 'Secretaries to the Government of India nominated by the Cabinet Secretary from a Department other than the parent or sponsoring department'.
Access full report to view the new composition
45. Statutes Must Be Interpreted In A Just, Reasonable And Sensible Manner: Supreme Court
[Case: Commercial Taxes Officer, Circle-B, Bharatpur v. M/s Bhagat Singh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 44]
A statute must be interpreted in a just, reasonable and sensible manner, a bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna observed while dismissing Special Leave Petition against a Rajasthan High Court judgment.
In this case, the Petitioner (Commercial Taxes Officer) contended that a single transaction of purchase of a motor vehicle does not bring a person within the definition of "Casual Trader" under Rajasthan Tax on Entry of Motor Vehicle into Local Areas Act 1988. According to it, "Casual Trader" envisages occasional transactions of business involving buying and selling of goods and therefore plurality of transactions is a condition precedent for treating a trader as a "Casual Trader".
'The Legislature could not, possibly, have intended that a person making 2 or 3 transactions should be treated as a "Casual Trader", but a person making only one transaction should be treated at par with regular traders," the bench said.
46. Land Acquisition Act 1894: Title Of Land Owner Ceases Once State Takes Possession Of Land: Supreme Court
[Case: Assam Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. v. Gillapukri Tea Co. Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 45]
A bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna reiterated that once possession is taken by the State, the land vests absolutely with the State and the title of the landowner ceases. It thus allowed the appeal filed by Assam Industrial Development Corporation Limited against a Gauhati High Court judgment nullifying the award passed under Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The award pertained to land acquisition notification issued with respect to a land belonging to Gillapukri Tea Company Ltd.
47. Basic Philosophy Behind Granting Power To Review Judgments Is 'Universal Acceptance Of Human Fallibility': Supreme Court
[Case: Rajendra Khare v. Swaati Nirkhi; Citation: LL 2021 SC 46]
The basic philosophy inherent in granting the power to the Supreme Court to review its judgment under Article 137 is the universal acceptance of human fallibility, a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Indu Malhotra observed in an order allowing a Review Petition. It said that the rejection of Miscellaneous Application seeking recall of a judgment does not preclude filing of a review petition subsequently.
48. Supreme Court Sets Aside Conviction Of A Man Accused In A 1983 Murder Case Allowing His Plea Of Juvenility
[Case: Yogendra Yadav v. State Of Uttar Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 47]
A Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah set aside concurrent conviction in a murder case after it found that the accused was juvenile (17 years and 1 month) on the date of incident (01.08.1983).
The Trial Court judgment convicting Yogendra Yadav in a murder case was upheld by the Allahabad High Court in 2019, by dismissing the appeal he had filed in the year 1985. Before the Supreme Court, as the accused raised the plea of Juvenility, it called for a report from the District Judge, Ajamgarh. In his report, Additional District and Sessions Judge stated that the date of birth of the appellant as 01.07.1966 and further that he was 17 years 1 month on the date of incident.
49. Successive Anticipatory Bail Applications Ought Not To Be Entertained On Specious Ground Of 'Changed Circumstances': Supreme Court
[Case: GR Ananda Babu v. State of Tamil Nadu; Citation: LL 2021 SC 48]
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari observed that successive anticipatory bail applications ought not to be entertained. It said, "As a matter of fact, successive anticipatory bail applications ought not to be entertained and more so, when the case diary and the status report, clearly indicated that the accused (respondent No. 2) is absconding and not cooperating with the investigation. The specious reason of change in circumstances cannot be invoked for successive anticipatory bail applications, once it is rejected by a speaking order and that too by the same Judge."
50. Dismissal Of Transfer Petition May Not Operate As Res Judicata If Fresh Petition Is Filed On Change Of Circumstances: Supreme Court
[Case: Amruta Ben Himanshu Kumar Shah v. Himanshu Kumar Pravinchandra Shah; Citation: LL 2021 SC 49]
A Bench of Justice V. Ramasubramanian held that a dismissal of a petition for transfer, may not operate as res judicata, when a fresh petition is filed on change of circumstances. It held,
"The dismissal of a petition for transfer, may not operate as res judicata, when a fresh petition is filed on change of circumstances. The first transfer petition in T.P.(C)No.615 of 2016 was dismissed in limine without even a notice being ordered to the respondent. Therefore, the present petition for transfer cannot be opposed solely on the ground that the earlier petition was dismissed. But at the same time, the petitioner will have to satisfy the court that there are change of circumstances and that there are sufficient grounds made out."
51. Appointment Not Challenged In Reasonable Time: Supreme Court Sets Aside HC Judgment Which Quashed Appointment Of An Assistant Professor
[Case: Pooran Chand v. Chancellor; Citation: LL 2021 SC 50]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah set aside an Allahabad High Court order which quashed appointment of an Assistant Professor, observing that the appointment was not challenged in reasonable time as per the provisions of the applicable Act.
52. Prenatal Sex Determination Is A Grave Offence Which Has Potential To Damage The Very Fabric Of Gender Equality & Dignity: Supreme Court
[Case: Rekha Sengar v. State of Madhya Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 51]
A Bench comprising Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, Vineet Saran and Ajay Rastogi observed that prenatal sex determination is a grave offence with serious consequences for the society as a whole. A strict approach has to be adopted if we are to eliminate the scourge of female feticide and iniquity towards girl children from our society, the Court said while upholding the Madhya Pradesh High Court order dismissing the anticipatory bail application filed by an accused.
53. Appellate Court's Jurisdiction Under Section 96 CPC Involves Rehearing On Questions Of Law As Well As Fact: Supreme Court
[Case: Manjula v. Shyamsundar; Citation: LL 2021 SC 52]
A bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Surya Kant observed that an appellate court's jurisdiction under Section 96 of CPC involves a rehearing of appeal on questions of law as well as fact. It noted that the provision provides for filing of an appeal from the decree passed by a court of original jurisdiction and Order 41 Rule 31 of CPC provides the guidelines to the appellate court for deciding the appeal. The bench said that the judgment of the appellate court shall state (a) points for determination; (b) the decision thereon; (c) the reasons for the decision; and (d) where the decree appealed from is reversed or varied, the relief to which the appellant is entitled.
54. Tenant Cannot Dictate Adequacy Of Space Required By Landlord For Proposed Business Venture: Supreme Court Upholds Summary Eviction Order
[Case: Balwant Singh v. Sudarshan Kumar; Citation: LL 2021 SC 53]
A tenant cannot dictate how much space is adequate for the proposed business venture or to suggest that the available space with the landlord will be adequate, a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy observed while upholding an eviction order passed in favour of an NRI landlord under East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949.
55. Extra-Ordinary Power Of Trial Court Under Section 319 CrPC Should Be Exercised Sparingly, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Ajay Kumar @ Bittu v. State of Uttarakhand; Citation: LL 2021 SC 54]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah reiterated that the power of a Trial Court under Section 319 of CrPC to proceed against other persons appearing to be guilty of offence is a discretionary and extra-ordinary power which has to be exercised sparingly.
56. Collusive Commercial Transactions With Corporate Debtor Will Not Constitute 'Financial Debt' Under IBC: Supreme Court
[Case: Phoenix Arc Private Limited v. Spade Financial Services Limited; Citation: LL 2021 SC 55]
A Bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee held that collusive or sham transactions with a corporate debtor will not amount to "financial debt" within the meaning of IBC.
The Bench also held that a financial creditor which is not a "related party" to the corporate debtor at present can also be excluded from the Committee of Creditors if it is found that its removal of the "related party" label was a part of strategy to bypass the bar under Section 21(2), first proviso of the IBC.
57. Violation Of Fundamental Right To Speedy Trial Is A Ground For Constitutional Court To Grant Bail In UAPA Cases: Supreme Court
[Case: Union of India v. KA Najeeb; Citation: LL 2021 SC 56]
A bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose held that Section 43D (5) of UAPA per se does not oust the ability of Constitutional Courts to grant bail on ground of violation of Fundamental Right to Speedy Trial. It held, "Whereas at commencement of proceedings, Courts are expected to appreciate the legislative policy against grant of bail but the rigours of such provisions will melt down where there is no likelihood of trial being completed within a reasonable time and the period of incarceration already undergone has exceeded a substantial part of the prescribed sentence."
58. 'It Provided Back Door Entry': Supreme Court Approves Scrapping Of LARSGESS Scheme For Railway Employees
[Case: Manjit v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 57]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna upheld the termination of Liberalized Active Retirement Scheme for Guaranteed Employment for Safety Staff (LARSGESS) for Railway Employees. The Court was of the opinion that the Scheme provided for an avenue of a back door entry into the service of the railways.
59. Corruption Is An Offence Against Society: Supreme Court Sets Aside Gujarat HC Judgment Acquitting An Accused
[Case: State of Gujarat v. Bhalchandra Laxmishankar Dave; Citation: LL 2021 SC 58]
A bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah observed that Offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act are offences are against the society. It added, "An Appellate Court while dealing with an appeal against acquittal passed by the Learned trial Court, is required to bear in mind that in case of acquittal there is double presumption in favour of the accused. Firstly, the presumption of innocence is available to him under the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence that every person shall be presumed to be innocent unless he is proved guilty by a competent court of law. Secondly, the accused having secured his acquittal, the presumption of his innocence is further reinforced, reaffirmed and strengthened by the trial Court," the bench said.
60. Mere Recovery Of Currency Notes From Public Servant Does Not Constitute Offence U/s 7 Of Prevention Of Corruption Act: Supreme Court
[Case: N.Vijayakumar v. State of Tamil Nadu; Citation: LL 2021 SC 59]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah observed that mere possession or recovery of currency notes is not sufficient to constitute an offence under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. To prove the charge, it has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that accused voluntarily accepted money knowing it to be bribe.
61. Creditor Will Not Become 'Financial Creditor' Under IBC If A Corporate Debtor Has Only Given Security By Pledging Shares, Without Undertaking To Discharge Borrower's Liability: Supreme Court
[Case: Phoenix Arc Pvt Ltd v. Ketulbhai Ramubhai Patel; Citation: LL 2021 SC 60]
A Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah held that if a corporate debtor has only offered security by pledging shares, without undertaking to discharge the borrower's liability, then the creditor in such a case will not become 'financial creditor' as defined under IBC. The Court held that such a creditor could be a secured creditor but will not be a financial creditor under the IBC entitled to take part in the insolvency resolution process.
62. 'Belief Of Commission Of Act Of Money Laundering' Has To Be Recorded Before Directing Freezing Of Bank Accounts Under PMLA: Supreme Court
[Case: OPTO Circuit India Ltd. v. Axis Bank; Citation: LL 2021 SC 61]
A bench headed by then CJI SA Bobde observed that before directing freezing of bank accounts under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Authority has to record the belief of commission of the act of money laundering. Referring to Section 17 of PMLA, the Bench observed, "It certainly is not the requirement that the communication addressed to the Bank itself should contain all the details. But what is necessary is an order in the file recording the belief as provided under Section 17(1) of PMLA before the communication is issued and thereafter the requirement of Section 17(2) of PMLA after the freezing is made is complied.
63. Delhi Sealing: Premises Originally Purchased As Shops Not To Be Sealed, Says Supreme Court
[Case: MC Mehta v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 62]
A Bench headed by then CJI SA Bobde observed that there is no reason to continue the sealing of premises by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi if they were actually sold as shops. The observation was made while considering an application filed by Defence Colony Market Welfare Association.
64. Migration From Unrecognised Medical College To Recognised One Restricted By MCI Regulations: Supreme Court
[Case: Medical Council of India v. Anchal Parihar; Citation: LL 2021 SC 63]
A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Indira Banerjee held that migration cannot be permitted from an unrecognised medical college to a recognised medical college in view of Regulation 6 of the Medical Council of India Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997.
65. 'Approach Of Union Of India Exasperates Us': Supreme Court Imposes Rs. 1 Lakh Costs On Centre For Filing SLP With Delay Of 6616 Days
[Case: Union Of India v. Central Tibetan Schools Admin; Citation: LL 2021 SC 64]
The approach of the Union of India in the manner it has filed the present special leave petition exasperates us, the Supreme Court remarked while dismissing Special Leave Petitions filed by the Central Government with a delay of 6616 days. All earlier counsel appears to have been thrown in the dustbin, said the bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy said.
66. Litigant Cannot Seek Recusal Of A Judge On The Ground That He/She May Not Get A Favourable Order: Supreme Court
[Case: Neelam Manmohan Attavar v. Manmohan Attavar (D) through LRs; Citation: LL 2021 SC 65]
A division bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that a litigant cannot seek recusal of a judge from hearing his/her case on the ground that he/she may not get a favourable order. The observation came while the bench rejected a plea seeking recusal of Justice Chandrachud from hearing a case. "We see no valid and good ground for recusal by one of us. Merely because the order might not be in favour of the applicant earlier, cannot be a ground for recusal," the bench observed.
67. Illegal Occupants Of Government/Panchayat Land Cannot Claim Regularization As A Matter Of Right: Supreme Court
[Case: Joginder v. State of Haryana; Citation: LL 2021 SC 66]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that persons in illegal occupation of the Government Land/ Panchayat Land cannot, as a matter of right, claim regularization. "Regularization of the illegal occupation of the Government Land/Panchayat Land can only be as per the policy of the State Government and the conditions stipulated in the Rules," it added.
68. Recruitment Of Candidates In Excess Of Notified Vacancies Would Be Unconstitutional: Supreme Court
[Case: Gajanan Babulal Bansode v. State Of Maharashtra; Citation: LL 2021 SC 67]
While setting aside orders passed by the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal and the Bombay High Court, bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Indu Malhotra and Vineet Saran held that recruitment of candidates in excess of the notified vacancies is violative of Articles 14 and 16 (1) of the Constitution of India. It ruled that an authority cannot fill up more than the notified number of vacancies advertised.
69. 'No Allegations Whatsoever': Supreme Court Quashes FIR Against Man Accused Of Abducting Woman Who Later Married The Main Accused
[Case: Vishwas Bhandari v. State of Punjab; Citation: LL 2021 SC 68]
A Division Bench comprising of Justices Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat quashed criminal proceedings against a man accused of abducting a woman who later married the main accused. The Court noted that there is no evidence against the accused and thus the proceedings initiated against him on the basis of FIR would be untenable.
70. Supreme Court Lowers NEET 2020 Qualifying Cut Off By 10 Percentile For Admission To First Year BDS Course For Year 2020-2021
[Case: Harshit Agarwal v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 69]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Krishna Murari directed that the vacant seats in first year BDS course for the year 2020-2021 shall be filled up from the candidates who have participated in the NEET (UG) courses for the year 2020-2021 after lowering the percentile mark by 10 percentile. It observed that lowering the minimum marks and reducing percentile for admission to the first-year BDS course would not amount to lowering the standards of education.
71. Detailed Reasons Not Required In Disciplinary Authority's Order Imposing Punishment: Supreme Court
[Case: Boloram Bordoloi v. Lakhimi Gaolia Bank; Citation: LL 2021 SC 70]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah observed that detailed reasons are not required to be recorded by the Disciplinary Authority in an order imposing punishment by accepting the findings recorded by the Enquiry Officer. It held that merely because a show cause notice is issued by indicating the proposed punishment, it cannot be said that disciplinary authority has taken a decision.
72. Even A Trespasser In Established Possession Can Obtain Injunction: Supreme Court
[Case: A. Subramanian v. R. Pannerselvam; Citation: LL 2021 SC 71
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, while upholding a Madras High Court judgment decreeing an injunction suit, held that even a trespasser who is in established possession of the property could obtain injunction.
The bench observed that the principle that plaintiff cannot seek for a bare permanent injunction without seeking a prayer for declaration will not apply when the plaintiff's possession over the property is 'admitted and established'.
73. Bar Under Section 10A IBC Against Initiation Of CIRP Retrospective; Applies To Applications Filed From 25 March 2020
[Case: Ramesh Kymal v. M/s Siemens Gamesa Renewable Power Pvt Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 72]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah held that Section 10A of IBC bars filing of applications for commencement of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process in respect of a corporate debtor for a default occurring on or after 25 March 2020, even if such application was filed before 5 June 2020 (the date on which the amendment came into force).
The bench also observed that that the retrospective bar on the filing of applications for the commencement of CIRP during the stipulated period does not extinguish the debt owed by the corporate debtor or the right of creditors to recover it.
74. 'Sudden Provocation Without Premeditation': Supreme Court Orders Release Of Murder Accused Farmer Who Spent 18 Years In Jail
[Case: Pardeshiram v. State of M.P.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 73]
A bench comprising of Justices Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat while ordering for release of a murder accused farmer who spent 18 years in jail, held that he is liable to be convicted for the offence under Section 304 Part I of IPC and not under Section 302. The Supreme Court sentenced him to the sentence already undergone taking note of the period of custody undergone (eighteen years); the relationship between the accused and the deceased and the background in which the injuries were caused.
75. Heart Ailment Not A 'Disability' Covered Under Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act: Supreme Court
[Case: Nawal Kishore Sharma v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 74]
A bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy held that a heart ailment (Dilated Cardiomyopathy condition) is not covered within the definition of disability in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. The observation was made while dismissing an appeal against Patna High Court judgment which upheld the order of a Shipping Corporation of India that rejected a seaman's Claim for disability compensation.
76. Dishonour Of Cheques- Blank Cheque Would Attract Presumption U/s 139 NI Act If Signatures Are Admitted: Supreme Court
[Case: M/s. Kalamani Tex v. P. Balasubramanian; Citation: LL 2021 SC 75]
A bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose observed that 'reverse onus' clauses under Section 118 and Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act become operative once the signature(s) of an accused on the cheque are established. The Court went ahead to observe that even a blank cheque leaf would attract presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act when signatures are admitted by the accused.
77. SC Judgment Which Excluded Persons With Over 50% Visual/Hearing Impairment From Judicial Service No Longer Binding Precedent: Supreme Court
[Case: Vikash Kumar v. UPSC; Citation: LL 2021 SC 76]
A bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna observed that the decision in V Surendra Mohan v. State of Tamil Nadu would "not be a binding precedent", after the coming into force of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. The Bench in the same judgment also held that facility of scribe can be provided for persons with disabilities other than those having benchmark disabilities. In Surendra Mohan, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court had held that stipulating a limit of 50% disability in hearing impairment or visual impairment as a condition to be eligible for the post of a judicial officer is a legitimate restriction.
Also Read: Benchmark Disability Not A Precondition To Obtain A Scribe: Supreme Court Allows Scribe For UPSC Candidate With 'Writer's Cramp'
78. Refusal To Condone Delay For Appeal Under Section 34 Of Arbitration Act Appealable Under Section 37: Supreme Court
[Case: Chintels India Ltd v. Bhayana Builders Pvt Ltd; Citation: LL 2021 SC 77]
A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph held that an order refusing to condone the delay in filing an appeal under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 is appealable under Section 37 of the Act. It observed that the expression "setting aside or refusing to set aside an arbitral award" does not stand by itself. The expression has to be read with the expression that follows-"under section 34".
79. Consumer Fora Has No Power To Accept Written Statement Beyond Period Of 45 Days, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Daddy's Builders Pvt. Ltd. v. Manisha Bhargava; Citation: LL 2021 SC 78]
A bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah reiterated that Consumer fora has no jurisdiction and/or power to accept the written statement beyond the period of 45 days.
80. Consent Of Family, Community Or Clan Not Necessary Once Two Adult Individuals Agree To Enter Into Wedlock: Supreme Court
[Case: Laxmibai Chandaragi B v. State of Karnataka; Citation: LL 2021 SC 79]
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy observed that consent of the family or the community or the clan is not necessary once two adult individuals agree to enter into a wedlock.
81. Grant Of Leave For Compounding Offences At Appellate Stage Is Not Automatic On Settlement Between Accused & Victim: Supreme Court
[Case: Pravat Chandra Mohanty v. State of Odisha; Citation: LL 2021 SC 80]
A division bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi held that grant of leave as contemplated by Section 320(5) of CrPC is not automatic nor it has to be mechanical on receipt of request by the accused which may be agreed by the victim. The observation came while the bench rejected a plea seeking compounding of offences of two police officers accused in a custodial violence case. Pravat Chandra Mohanty and Pratap Kumar Chaudhary were convicted under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code.
82. More Clarity And Certainty Has To Be Brought In SEBI Mutual Fund Regulations: Supreme Court
[Case: Franklin Templeton Trustee Services Private Limited v. Amruta Garg; Citation: LL 2021 SC 81]
A bench comprising of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, while upholding the validity of e-voting process for winding up of six mutual fund schemes of Franklin Templeton, observed that more clarity and certainty has to be brought in the Mutual Fund Regulations. "We would neither hesitate in stating the obvious, that modern regulatory enactments bear heavily on commercial matters and, therefore, must be precisely and clearly legislated as to avoid inconvenience, friction and confusion, which may, in addition, have adverse economic consequences. The legislator in the present case must, therefore, reflect and take remedial steps to bring about clarity and certainty in the Mutual Fund Regulations," the bench said.
Also Read: Consent By Majority Of Unit Holders Who Participated In Poll Is Sufficient For Winding Up Mutual Fund Schemes: Supreme Court
Also Read: Supreme Court Upholds Validity Of E-Voting Process For Winding Up Of Franklin Templeton's Six Mutual Fund Schemes
Also Read: Franklin Templeton Case: Supreme Court Approves Distribution Mechanism Of SBI Mutual Fund And SBI Funds Management
83. Mere Absence Of Doctor's Certification Would Not Ipso Facto Render Dying Declaration Unacceptable: Supreme Court
[Case: Surendra Bangali v. State of Jharkhand; Citation: LL 2021 SC 82]
A division bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi reiterated that mere absence of doctor's certification as to the fitness of the declarant's state of mind would not ipso facto render the dying declaration unacceptable. The contention of the accused in this case was that the conviction is solely based on the dying declaration of the deceased which finds no corroboration.
84. "Right To Protest Cannot Be Any Time And Everywhere": Supreme Court Dismisses Review Petition Against 'Shaheen Bagh' Judgment
[Case: Kaniz Fatima v. Commissioner of Police; Citation: LL 2021 SC 83]
A three judge bench consisting of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari dismissed the review petition filed against the Shaheen Bagh Judgment in which it is held that the demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone. Dismissing the review petition, the bench held that the right to protest cannot be anytime and everywhere.
85. Appellate Court Cannot Permit Production Of Additional Evidence Unless & Until Procedure Under Order XLI Rules 27-29 CPC Is Followed: Supreme Court
[Case: HS Goutham v. Rama Murthy; Citation: LL 2021 SC 84]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah observed that unless and until the procedure under Order XLI Rules 27, 28 and 29 are followed, the parties to the appeal cannot be permitted to lead additional evidence and/or the appellate court is not justified to direct the court from whose decree the appeal is preferred or any other subordinate court, to take such evidence and to send it when taken to the Appellate Court.
86. Is It Mandatory To Seek Probate Or Letters Of Administration For Establishing A Right As Executor Or Legatee Under A Will? Supreme Court Explains
[Case: Ravinder Nath Agarwal v. Yogender Nath Agarwal; Citation: LL 2021 SC 85]
A Single Bench of Justice V. Ramasubramanian observed that the mandatory requirement to seek probate or letters of administration for establishing a right as executor or legatee under a Will, is applicable only to Wills made by a Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina within the local limits of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of certain High Courts and to Wills made outside those territories, to the extent they cover immovable property situate within those territories.
87. Supreme Court Allows Himachal Pradesh Govt. Plea For Diversion Of Certain Extent Of Forest Land For Carrying Out Public Welfare Projects
[Case: Re: TN Godavarman Thirumulpad v. Union Of India & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 86]
A bench comprising then CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian allowed some applications filed by the Government of Himachal Pradesh seeking diversion of certain extent of forest land for the purpose of carrying out certain public welfare projects. The court granted permission to projects like Hydro Electric Projects, Roads, Indian Institute of Technology, Degree College, Model School, Construction/upgradation of Electric Substations, Transmission line, Hybrid Power Project (Solar+wind+battery storage), Extraction of river bed minerals, Car parking etc.
88. Timeline For Pronouncement Of Judgment Prescribed In Order XX CPC Does Not Apply To High Courts: Supreme Court
[Case: SJVNL v. M/s CCC HIM JV & Anr.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 87]
A Bench comprising of Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai observed that timeline for pronouncement of judgment prescribed in Order XX of CPC does not apply to the High Court.
"It is true, that for the High Courts, no period for pronouncement of judgment is contemplated either under the Code of Civil Procedure or the Criminal Procedure Code, but as the pronouncement of the judgment is a part of justice dispensation system, it has to be without delay," the bench held.
89. Supreme Court Confirms Life Imprisonment For Remainder Of Natural Life Awarded To Man Accused Of Murdering Two Kids
[Case: Gauri Shankar v. State Of Punjab; Citation: LL 2021 SC 88]
A bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi confirmed punishment of life imprisonment for remainder of natural life awarded to a man accused of murdering two kids by administering celphos to them.
90. Pre-Deposit For Filing Appeals Before DRAT Is A Mandatory Requirement: Supreme Court
[Case: Kotak Mahindra Bank Pvt. Limited v. Ambuj A. Kasliwal; Citation: LL 2021 SC 89]
A bench comprising of then Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian observed that entire waiver of pre-deposit for filing appeal before Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal under Section 21 of the Recovery of Debts and Bankruptcy Act, is impermissible. In all cases fifty per cent of the decretal amount i.e. the debt due is to be deposited before the DRAT as a mandatory requirement, but in appropriate cases for reasons to be recorded the deposit of at least twenty-five per cent of the debt due would be permissible, but not entire waiver.
91. Prior Knowledge Of Senior Secondary Level Biology Or Biological Science Is Essential For Admission To MBBS Course: Supreme Court
[Case: Kaloji Narayana Rao University Of Health Sciences v. Srikeerti Reddi Pingle; Citation: LL 2021 SC 90]
A bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat observed that prior knowledge - both theoretical and practical, of senior secondary level in biology or biological sciences is an essential qualification to get admission to MBBS Course.
The Court also observed that equivalence in qualification is not merely at the level of a 10+2 requirement, but MCI regulation requires equivalence in 'standard and scope' in an examination where the candidate is tested in Physics, Chemistry and Biology including practical testing in these subjects, along with English.
92. Inappropriate To Entertain Art. 32 Plea By Homebuyers Against Developers: Supreme Courts Points To Provisions In CPA, RERA, IBC, Criminal Law
[Case: Upendra Choudhury v. Bulandshahar Development Authority; Citation: LL 2021 SC 91]
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah declared that proceedings under Article 32 of the Constitution by a purchaser, seeking relief in respect of a real estate project, cannot be entertained. "On account of the economic meltdown and now the COVID pandemic, the real estate sector has taken a hit. If we entertain homebuyers' petitions against builders/developers under Article 32, it will open the flood-gates," the Bench said.
93. Presence Of Arbitration Clause In Contract Between State Instrumentality & Private Party Does Not Oust Writ Jurisdiction Under Article 226: Supreme Court
[Case: UNITECH Limited v. Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation; Citation: LL 2021 SC 92]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that presence of an arbitration clause within a contract between a state instrumentality and a private party is not an absolute bar to availing remedies under Article 226 of the Constitution. It held that the State and its instrumentalities are not exempt from the duty to act fairly merely because in their business dealings they have entered into the realm of contract.
94. Consent Decree Would Not Serve As An Estoppel Where The Compromise Was Vitiated By Fraud, Misrepresentation, Or Mistake: Supreme Court
[Case: Compack Enterprises India (P) Ltd. v. Beant Singh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 93]
A bench comprising Justices Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran observed that a consent decree would not serve as an estoppel, where the compromise was vitiated by fraud, misrepresentation, or mistake. It was also observed that consent decrees are intended to create estoppels by judgment against the parties, thereby putting an end to further litigation between the parties and therefore it would be slow to unilaterally interfere in, modify, substitute or modulate the terms of a consent decree, unless it is done with the revised consent of all the parties thereto.
95. NHAI Vs Progressive Construction: Supreme Court Appoints Justice (Rtd.) GS Singhvi As Sole Arbitrator
[Case: NHAI v. Progressive Construction Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 94]
A division bench of Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi while allowing an appeal filed by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), directed the parties to the arbitral proceedings to approach the Indian Council of Arbitration within 2 weeks for the adjudication of the disputes in accordance with ICA Rules of Domestic Commercial Arbitration & Conciliation, 2016.
96. Supreme Court Closes Suo Moto Case Taken To Probe "Larger Conspiracy" Behind Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Ex-CJI Gogoi
[Case: In Re: Matter Of Great Public Importance Touching Upon The Independence Of Judiciary; Citation: LL 2021 SC 95]
A bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian closed the suo moto proceedings which were instituted to examine if there was a "larger conspiracy" behind the allegations of sexual harassment against the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. The bench observed that enquiry panel headed by former SC judge Justice AK Patnaik has submitted a report opining that a conspiracy behind the sexual harassment allegations cannot be "ruled out".
97. Deposit 15.72 Cr Refundable To Students And Extra 25 Cr With ASC To Claim Affiliation: Supreme Court Directs Kannur Medical College
[Case: Alitha R Nath v. Kannur Medical College; Citation: LL 2021 SC 96]
A bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjeev Khanna directed the Kannur Medical College to deposit Rs.15,72,89,020/- with the Admission Supervisory Committee for Professional Colleges in Kerala along with full details of the guardians/students to whom the amounts have to be refunded within a period of one month. It also directed it to make a deposit of Rs.25 crores with the Admission Supervisory Committee as a pre-condition to claim affiliation.
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98. Parties Who Privately Agree To Settle Disputes Without Court Intervention U/s 89 CPC Also Entitled To Refund Of Court Fee: Supreme Court
[Case: High Court of Judicature at Madras v. MC Subramaniam; Citation: LL 2021 SC 97]
A bench comprising Justices Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran held that the parties who privately agree to settle their dispute outside the modes contemplated under Section 89 of CPC are also entitled to refund of Court fees. "The narrow interpretation of Section 89 of CPC and Section 69A of the 1955 Act sought to be imposed by the Petitioner would lead to an outcome wherein parties who are referred to a Mediation Centre or other centres by the Court will be entitled to a full refund of their court fee; whilst parties who similarly save the Court's time and resources by privately settling their dispute themselves will be deprived of the same benefit, simply because they did not require the Court's interference to seek a settlement," the Court observed.
99. 'Not Proper To Keep Him In Jail Forever': Supreme Court Reduces Sentence Imposed On Dacoity Cum Murder Convict To 22 Years Imprisonment
[Case: Shivalinga @ Shivalingayya v. State of Karnataka; Citation: LL 2021 SC 98]
A bench comprising of Justices Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran reduced the sentence imposed on a man convicted in a dacoity cum murder case to 22 years actual imprisonment.
100. Daiichi Sankyo Case: Supreme Court Asks Banks & Financial Institutions To Disclose Documents Related To Fortis Healthcare- IHH Healthcare Deal
[Case: M/S. Daiichi Sankyo Company Limited v. Oscar Investments Ltd; Citation: LL 2021 SC 99]
A three-Judge Bench of Justices UU Lalit, Indira Banerjee and KM Joseph directed the banks and financial institutions to place on record several documents to determine their role in alienation of Fortis Healthcare's shares through its deal with IHH healthcare, on or before 22nd Feb 2021.
101. Pass Reasoned Judgment Along With Operative Order: Supreme Court Criticizes NCDRC Practice Of Passing 'Reasons To Follow' Orders
[Case: Sudipta Chakrobarty v. Ranaghat SD Hospital; Citation: LL 2021 SC 100]
Criticizing the practice of 'reasons to follow' orders, a bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi directed the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to pass reasoned Judgment along with the operative order. The Bench observed that, in all matters before NCDRC where reasons are yet to be delivered, it must be ensured that the same are made available to the litigating parties positively within a period of two months.
102. Banks Duty-Bound To Exercise Due Diligence In Maintaining And Operating Their Locker Facility: Supreme Court Issues Guidelines
[Case: Amitabha Dasgupta v. United Bank of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 101]
A Bench comprising Justices Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and Vineet Saran observed that the banks owe a duty of care to exercise due diligence in maintaining and operating their locker or safety deposit systems and that they cannot contract out of the minimum standard of care in this regard. The banks cannot wash off their hands and claim that they bear no liability towards their customers for the operation of the locker.
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103. Selections To Public Employment Should Be On The Basis Of Merit: Supreme Court
[Case: Anmol Kumar Tiwari v. State of Jharkhand; Citation: LL 2021 SC 102]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Indira Banerjee observed that the selections to public employment should be on the basis of merit. "Appointment of persons with lesser merit ignoring those who have secured more marks would be in violation of the Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India," the Court observed.
In this case, the appointees to the posts of Police Sub-Inspectors, Attendants (Sergeant) and Company Commanders by the Home Department of the Government of Jharkhand were terminated on the ground that the select list was prepared wrongly by ignoring merit of candidates and by giving undue importance to the preferences given by them. Allowing the writ petition filed by these appointees who were terminated, the Jharkhand High Court observed that they cannot be held responsible for the irregularities committed by the authorities in the matter of their selection and there is no allegation of fraud or misrepresentation on their part. The High Court dismissed these applications.
104. Suspicion, However Strong Cannot Take The Place Of Proof: Supreme Court Upholds Acquittal Of Murder Accused
[Case: State of Odisha v. Banabihari Mohapatra; Citation: LL 2021 SC 103]
A bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Hemant Gupta reiterated that suspicion, however strong cannot take the place of proof. "It is well settled by a plethora of judicial pronouncement of this Court that suspicion[, however strong cannot take the place of proof. An accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt," the court observed.
It added that before a case against an accused can be said to be fully established on circumstantial evidence, the circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn must fully be established and the facts so established should be consistent only with the hypothesis of guilt of the accused.
105. Subsequent Purchaser Can Also Challenge Readiness & Willingness Of Plaintiff In A Specific Performance Suit: Supreme Court
[Case: Kadupugotla Varalakshmi v. Vudagiri Venkata Rao; Citation: LL 2021 SC 104]
A bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, Indira Banerjee and KM Joseph observed that subsequent purchaser of the suit property can challenge the readiness and willingness on part of the plaintiff in a specific performance suit. The Bench noted that the principles laid down in the judgment in Jugraj Singh judgment were not approved in Ram Awadh (Dead) v.Achhaibar Dubey [(2000) 2 SCC428].
"It is open to any defendant to contend and establish that he mandatory requirement of Section 16(c) has not been complied with and it is for the court to determine whether it has or has not been complied with and, depending upon its conclusion, decree or decline to decree the suit," the court said.
106. Manufacturer Not Liable For Dealer's Fault Unless Manufacturer's Knowledge Is Proved In Cases Where Relationship Is 'Principal-To-Principal' Basis: Supreme Court
[Case: Tata Motors Ltd v. Anonio Paulo Vaz; Citation: LL 2021 SC 105]
A three-judge bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, Hemant Gupta and Ravindra Bhat observed that a manufacturer will not be liable for the fault of the dealer, unless it is proved that the manufacturer was aware of the deficiency of the dealer, in cases where the relationship between them is on "principal-to-principal" basis.
In this case, the dealer, Vistar Goa, had sold a 2009 model car to a customer under the pretext that it was a 2011 model car. The customer, one Antonio Paulo Vaz, filed a consumer complaint in the District Forum seeking refund of the money or replacement of the car with a 2011 model vehicle. In the complaint, Tata Motors was also made an opposite party, along with the dealer.
107. Consent Decree Based On Admission Recognizing Pre-Existing Rights Under Family Settlement Does Not Require Registration: Supreme Court
[Case: Khushi Ram v. Nawal Singh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 106]
A bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Subhash Reddy held that a consent decree based on admission recognising pre-existing rights under Family settlement does not require registration under section 17(1)(b) of the Indian Registration Act.
"We, thus, conclude that in view of the fact that the consent decree dated 19.08.1991 relate to the subject matter of the suit, hence it was not required to be registered under Section 17(2) (vi) and was covered by exclusionary clause. Thus, we, answer question No.1 that the consent decree dated 19.08.1991 was not registrable and Courts below have rightly held that the decree did not require registration," the bench held.
108. Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Can Be Sanctioned As Per Proof Required Under The Scheme And In No Other Manner: Supreme Court
[Case: Union of India v. A. Alagam Perumal Kone; Citation: LL 2021 SC 107]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy observed that the pension under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme can be sanctioned as per the proof required under the scheme and in no other manner.
It was observed that when the claim is under a particular pension scheme, unless one fulfills the eligibility criteria for grant of pension, as mentioned in the scheme, no applicant can claim such pensions, as a matter of right. While observing so, the Court set aside the Madras High Court direction to grant Freedom Fighter's Pension to A. Alagam Perumal Kone under Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme.
109. Supreme Court Upholds Life Imprisonment For Man Accused Of Murdering His Pregnant Wife
[Case: R. Damodaran v. State; Citation: LL 2021 SC 108]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi dismissed the appeal filed by a man convicted for murdering his pregnant wife. It observed that the prosecution has established in a chain of events leave no matter of doubt that it is none other than the accused who had committed the crime of murdering his own wife who was at the advanced stage of pregnancy, and taken the dead body to the hospital and made a false statement that she had got a cardiac arrest.
110. Grant Of Essentiality Certificate By State Government To Establish Medical College Is Not Simply A Ministerial Act: Supreme Court
[Case: VN Public Health And Educational Trust v. State of Kerala; Citation: LL 2021 SC 109]
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari held that grant of Essentiality Certificate by the State Government and Consent of Affiliation by the University is not simply a ministerial act. The court held that essentiality Certificate is mandatorily required by a person before he receives permission for establishment of a Medical College.
"Thus, an EC is mandatorily required by a person before he receives permission for establishment of a Medical College. The Legislative scheme that imposes the requirement of the EC is prescribed in Section 10(A) of the Medical Council of India Act, which requires the previous permission of the Central Government for establishing a Medical College or opening a new course of study or training. Every person or Medical College must submit to the Central Government a scheme as prescribed," the bench held.
111. No Extra Chance For UPSC Exams; Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Of Last Attempt Civil Service Candidates
[Case: Rachna v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 110]
The Court dismissed the petition seeking extra chance in UPSC civil service exams for the candidates who had exhausted their last attempt in October 2020. It observed that "What is being claimed and prayed for under the guise of COVID 19 pandemic is nothing but a lame excuse in taking additional attempt to participate in the Civil Service Examination 2021 to be held in the future." It added, "if this Court shows indulgence to few who had participated in the Examination 2020, it well set down a precedent and also have a cascading effect on examinations in other streams, for which we are dissuaded to exercise plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution."
Also Read: Giving Extra Chance For A Few In UPSC Exams Will Have A Cascading Effect On Other Examinations :SC
112. 'State Can Provide For Election Of More Than One Member From A Ward': SC Upholds Gujarat Municipal Law Amendment
[Case: Parmar Samantsinh Umedsinh v. State of Gujarat; Citation: LL 2021 SC 111]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah upheld the constitutional validity of Section 5(3) (iii)(a) and Section 29A of the Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949, which provides multi-member representation from a Ward in the Municipal Corporation/Municipality.
Articles 243R and 243S of the Constitution of India does not contain any limitation to the effect that there shall be only one member from one Ward, the Court said while upholding the Gujarat High Court judgment dismissing the writ petitions challenging the provisions of the Act.
113. SC Directs A UP Medical College To Deposit Five Crores For Intentionally Violating Medical Council Regulations While Admitting Students
[Case: Saraswati Educational Charitable Trust v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 112]
A division Bench of Justices Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat directed Saraswati Medical College to deposit an amount of Rs. 5 crores with the SC Registry for intentionally violating the Medical Council Regulations by granting admission to students not allotted by the Director General Medical Education. The Court refused to condone the violation made by College in providing admission to 132 students on its own and permitting them to continue despite Medical Council of India's direction to discharge them.
The Court further directed the National Medical Commission to constitute a Trust, including the Accountant General of the State of UP, an eminent educationist and a representative of the State as Members of the Trust to manage the aforesaid amount and utilise it to extend financial assistance to needy students seeking admission to medical colleges in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
114. Salaries & Pensions Are Rightful Entitlements Of Government Employees; Appropriate Interest Must Be Paid For Delayed Payment: Supreme Court
[Case: State of Andhra Pradesh v. Dinavahi Lakshmi Kameswari; Citation: LL 2021 SC 113]
A Division bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that salaries and pensions are rightful entitlements of Government employees and the Government which has delayed the payment of salaries and pensions should be directed to pay interest at an appropriate rate.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court had allowed a PIL filed by a former District and Sessions Judge and directed the (i) payment of the deferred salary for the months of March-April 2020 together with interest at the rate of 12% per annum and (ii) payment of deferred pension for the month of March 2020 with a similar rate of interest.
115. Order VII Rue 11 CPC: Court Has Inherent Power To See That Frivolous Or Vexatious Litigations Are Not Allowed To Consume Its Time: Supreme Court
[Case: K. Akbar Ali v. K. Umar Khan; Citation: LL 2021 SC 114]
A Division Bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Hemant Gupta observed that the provisions of Order VII Rue 11 [Rejection of Plaint] are not exhaustive and the Court has the inherent power to see that frivolous or vexatious litigations are not allowed to consume the time of the Court.
The bench observed that while considering an application under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC, the question before the Court is whether the plaint discloses any cause of action or whether the suit is barred by any law, on the face of the averments contained in the plaint itself. While considering an application under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC the Court is not to look into the strength or weakness of the case of the plaintiff or the defence raised by the defendant, it added.
116. Admission & Fee Regulatory Committee Has To Ensure That Fee Charged By Private Medical Colleges Are Neither Excessive Nor Exploitative: Supreme Court
[Case: Najiya Neermunda v. Kunhitharuvai Memorial Charitable Trust; Citation: LL 2021 SC 115]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat observed that the regulation of fee for MBBS students in private self-financing medical colleges is within the domain of the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee which has to ensure that the fee is non-exploitative and reasonable.
The State had approached the Apex Court aggrieved with the Kerala High Court direction to the Committee to examine the audited balance sheets only for the purpose of considering whether the expenditure that is shown by the managements should be excluded or not. The Top Court observed that the High Court committed an error in directing the Committee to take into account only audited balance sheets, and provisional profit and loss accounts in the absence of audited balance sheets, to fix the fee.
117. Wife Levelling Allegations Affecting Career & Reputation Of Husband Amounts To Mental Cruelty Against Him For Seeking Divorce: Supreme Court
[Case: Joydeep Majumdar v. Bharti Jaiswal Majumdar; Citation: LL 2021 SC 116]
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy observed that wife levelling allegations which affects career and reputation of husband is mental cruelty against him for the purpose of seeking divorce. "The degree of tolerance will vary from one couple to another and the Court will have to bear in mind the background, the level of education and also the status of the parties, in order to determine whether the cruelty alleged is sufficient to justify dissolution of marriage, at the instance of the wronged party," the bench observed.
118. Ossification Test Conducted On An Accused Aged Around 40-55 Years Cannot Be Conclusive To Declare Him As A Juvenile On The Date Of The Incident: Supreme Court
[Case: Ram Vijay Singh v. State Of Uttar Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 117]
A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, Hemant Gupta and BR Gavai observed that ossification test conducted on a person aged around 40 to 55 years cannot be conclusive to declare him as a juvenile on the date of the incident. "When a person is around 18 years of age, the ossification test can be said to be relevant for determining the approximate age of a person in conflict with law. However, when the person is around 40-55 years of age, the structure of bones cannot be helpful in determining the age," the bench held.
119. Whether Day Of Remand Is To Be Included For Considering A Claim For Default Bail? Supreme Court Refers To Larger Bench
[Case: Enforcement Directorate v. Kapil Wadhawan; Citation: LL 2021 SC 118]
Whether the day of remand is to be included or excluded, for considering a claim for default bail? The Supreme Court referred this issue to a larger bench.
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy noticed that, in State of MP v. Rustom & Ors.1995 (Supp) 3 SCC 221 , Ravi Prakash Singh v. State of Bihar (2015) 8 SCC 340 and M. Ravindran v. Intelligence Officer, Director of Revenue Intelligence, it was held that the date of remand is to be excluded for computing the permitted period for completion of investigation. On the other hand, the judgments in Chaganti Satyanarayan v. State of Andhra Pradesh (1986) 3 SCC 141 , CBI v. Anupam J Kulkarni (1992) 3 SCC 141 , State v. Mohd. Ashraft Bhat (1996) 1 SCC 432, State of Maharashtra v. Bharati Chandmal Varma (2002) 2 SCC 121, and Pragyna Singh Thakur v. State of Maharashtra (2011) 10 SCC 445, have held that the date of remand must be included for computing the available period for investigation for determining entitlement to default bail.
120. Contract Is Void If Prohibited By Statute Under A Penalty Even If It Does Not Expressly Declare It Void: Supreme Court
[Case: Asha John Divianathan v. Vikram Malhotra; Citation: LL 2021 SC 119]
The Supreme Court observed that a contract is void if prohibited by a statute under a penalty, even without express declaration that the contract is void. A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi observed that the condition predicated in Section 31 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973, of obtaining "previous" general or special permission of the Reserve Bank of India for transfer or disposal of immovable property situated in India by sale or mortgage by a person, who is not a citizen of India, is mandatory.
The bench clarified that the transactions which have already become final including by virtue of the decision of the court of competent jurisdiction, need not be reopened or disturbed in any manner because of this pronouncement.
121. Proceedings Under Section 34 Of Arbitration Act Also Covered By Moratorium Under Section 14 IBC: Supreme Court
[Case: P Mohanraj & Ors. v. M/s Shah Brothers Ispat Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 120]
A Bench comprising of Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph observed that an application under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act to set aside an award is covered by moratorium under Section 14 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
Section 34 proceeding is a proceeding against the corporate debtor in a court of law pertaining to a challenge to an arbitral award and would be covered just as an appellate proceeding in a decree from a suit would be covered, the bench headed by Justice RF Nariman observed in the judgment titled P Mohanraj & Ors. v. M/s Shah Brothers Ispat Ltd.
Also Read: Moratorium Under Section 14 IBC Covers Section 138 NI Act Proceedings Against Corporate Debtor For Cheque Dishonour: Supreme Court
122. Residential Accommodation For Nuns & Hostels For Students Can Claim Property Tax Exemption U/s 3(1)(b) of the Kerala Building Tax Act: Supreme Court
[Case: Government Of Kerala v. Mother Superior Adoration Convent; Citation: LL 2021 SC 121]
The Supreme Court held that residential accommodation for nuns and hostel accommodations for students which are attached to various educational institutions can claim property tax exemption under Section 3(1)(b) of the Kerala Building Tax Act, 1975.
"If nuns are living in a neighbouring building to a convent only so that they may receive religious instruction there, or if students are living in a hostel close to the school or college in which they are imparted instruction, it is obvious that the purpose of such residence is not to earn profit but residence that is integrally connected with religious or educational activity," a bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman observed while upholding a full bench judgment of the Kerala High Court.
123. Insolvency Proceedings Maintainable Even If Winding Up Petition Is Pending Against Corporate Debtor: Supreme Court
[Case: A. Navinchandra Steels Pvt Ltd v. SREI Equipment Finance Ltd; Citation: LL 2021 SC 122]
The Supreme Court held that a petition either under Section 7 or Section 9 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is an independent proceeding which is unaffected by winding up proceedings that may be filed against the same company. The bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai observed that a secured creditor stands outside the winding up and can realise its security de hors winding up proceedings.
124. Writ Jurisdiction Under Article 226 Can Be Invoked To Quash FIR If It Is Found To Be Abuse Of Process Of Law: Supreme Court
[Case: Kapil Agarwal v. Sanjay Sharma; Citation: LL 2021 SC 123]
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that a High Court, invoking its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, can quash an FIR if the same is found to be an abuse of process of law. In this case, a writ petition preferred by the accused for quashing the first information report registered under under Sections 420/406 of the Indian Penal Code against them was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court. The accused's contention was that the FIR against him is a counterblast to the cheque bounce complaint filed against the complainant.
125. Amounts Paid By Indian Companies To Use Foreign Software Not 'Royalty';Not Income Taxable In India; No TDS Liability : Supreme Court
[Case: Engineering Analysis Centre for Excellence Private Ltd v. Commissioner of Income Tax; Citation: LL 2021 SC 124]
Settling an important issue in the income tax law, a bench comprising Justices R F Nariman, Hemant Gupta and BR Gavai held that the amounts paid by Indian companies for the use of softwares developed by foreign companies do not amount to 'royalty' and that such payment do not give rise to income which is taxable in India. Therefore, there is no liability for Indian companies to deduct tax at source with respect to purchase of software from foreign companies.
126. Non-Explanation By Accused In Section 313 CrPC Statement Cannot Be Used As A Link To Complete Chain Of Circumstances: Supreme Court
[Case: Shivaji Chintappa Patil v. State Of Maharashtra; Citation: LL 2021 SC 125]
The Supreme Court observed that false explanation or non-explanation of the accused to the questions posed by the court under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, cannot be used as a link to complete the chain.
It can only be used as an additional circumstance, when the prosecution has proved the chain of circumstances leading to no other conclusion than the guilt of the accused, the bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai observed.
127. Limitation Period For Filing 'Section 34' Petition Commences From Date Of Receipt Of Signed Copy Of Arbitral Award By Parties: Supreme Court
[Case: Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd. v. M/S Navigant Technologies Pvt. Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 126]
A bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi observed that the period of limitation for filing the Petition under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act would commence from the date on which the signed copy of the award was made available to the parties
128. Supreme Court Restores Appeal Before NGT Against Environmental Clearance Granted to Vishakapatnam Greenfield International Airport
[Case: Sridevi Datla v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 127]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat set aside an order of National Green Tribunal which dismissed an appeal filed against the grant of environmental clearance for construction of the Greenfield International Airport, Bhogapuram, Vishakapatnam.
The NGT, to dismiss the appeal filed by Sridevi Datla, had refused to condone the delay. The delay was sought to be condoned on the ground that the clearance and related documents were voluminous and the matter required some technical expertise, requiring the papers to be forwarded to experts and lawyers in Delhi, and the inter se communication delay.
129. 'Systemic Fraud Or Irregularities Make Entire Selection Process Illegitimate': SC Upholds Cancellation Of Examination By Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board
[Case: Sachin Kumar v. Delhi Subordinate Service Selection Board; Citation: LL 2021 SC 128]
A Bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that DSSSB and GNCTD must now take adequate measures to ensure against the recurrence of such instances which erode the credibility of and public confidence in the recruitment process. We direct that a comprehensive exercise to re-visit the modalities and safeguards be carried out within a period of two months to ensure that the probity of the recruitment process in future is maintained.
130. 'Not Seditious To Have Views Different From Govt': Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Against Ex-J&K CM Farooq Abdullah For Remarks On Article 370 With 50K Cost
[Case: Rajat Sharma v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 129]
"It is not seditious to have views different from the Govt," observed a Bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta while dismissing a PIL seeking action against former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, for his comments on abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
131. Evidence Of Interested Person Can Be Considered If It Is Corroborated: Supreme Court
[Case: Rahul v. State of Haryana; Citation: LL 2021 SC 130]
A Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy observed that the evidence of interested person can be considered provided such evidence is corroborated by other evidence on record.
132. Dying Declaration Cannot Be Discarded Merely Because Relatives Of Deceased Were Present In Hospital While Recording It: Supreme Court
[Case: Satpal v. State of Haryana; Citation: LL 2021 SC 131]
A Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy observed that a dying declaration cannot be disbelieved merely because parents and relatives of the deceased were present in the hospital while recording it.
"It is quite natural that when such an incident happens, the parents and other relatives try to reach the hospital immediately. Merely because they were in the hospital, the same is no ground to disbelieve the dying declaration, recorded by the Magistrate", the bench said while dismissing the appeal filed by a murder accused.
133. OBC Reservation Cannot Exceed 50%: Supreme Court Reads Down Section 12(2)(c) Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act
[Case: Vikas Kishanrao Gawali v. State Of Maharashtra; Citation: LL 2021 SC 132]
The Supreme Court read down Section 12(2)(c) of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 which provides reservation of 27 per cent of seats in the Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis. "Reservation in favour of OBCs in the concerned local bodies can be notified to the extent that it does not exceed aggregate 50 per cent of the total seats reserved in favour of SCs/STs/OBCs taken together," the bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi observed.
134. Sole Proprietorship Will Fall Under International Commercial Arbitration If Proprietor Is Foreign Resident: Supreme Court
[Case: Amway India v. Ravindranath Rao & Anr.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 133]
A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai held that a sole proprietorship will fall under international commercial arbitration if the proprietor is a habitual resident of a foreign country, notwithstanding the fact that the proprietary concern is carrying out business in India. The Bench set aside an order of the Delhi High Court appointing an arbitrator in the case Amway India v. Ravindranath Rao, holding that the High Court had no jurisdiction as the dispute was an international commercial arbitration within the meaning of Section 2(1)(f) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.
135. Application Under Order IX Rule 13 CPC Can Be Allowed Only When Sufficient Cause Is Made Out To Set Aside Ex Parte Decree: Supreme Court
[Case: Subodh Kumar v. Shamim Ahmed; Citation: LL 2021 SC 134]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy observed that an application under Order 9 Rule 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure cannot be automatically granted and can be allowed only when sufficient cause is made out to set aside the ex parte decree.
136. Aim Of Every Court Is To Discover The Truth: Supreme Court Explains Scope Of Section 311 CrPC
[Case: VN Patil v. K. Niranjan Kumar; Citation: LL 2021 SC 135; Case: State v. Tr N Seenivasagan; Citation: LL 2021 SC 136]
The Supreme court briefly explained the scope of Section 311 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in its two recent judgments. Section 311 deals with the power to summon material witness, or examine person present. Any Court may, at any stage of any inquiry, trial or other proceeding under this Code, summon any person as a witness, or examine any person in attendance, though not summoned as a witness, or recall and reexamine any person already examined; and the Court shall summon and examine or recall and reexamine any such person if his evidence appears to it to be essential to the just decision of the case, the provision reads.
137. No Allegation That Promise To Marry Was False At The Inception: Supreme Court Quashes Rape Case
[Case: Sonu @ Subhash Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 137]
A Division Bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah quashed an FIR alleging rape observing that there is no allegation to the effect that the promise to marry given by the accused was false at the inception.
The court also referred to the judgment in Pramod Suryabhan Pawar v. State of Maharashtra in which it was observed thus: "To summarise the legal position that emerges from the above cases, the "consent" of a woman with respect to Section 375 must involve an active and reasoned deliberation towards the proposed act. To establish whether the "consent" was vitiated by a "misconception of fact" arising out of a promise to marry, two propositions must be established. The promise of marriage must have been a false promise, given in bad faith and with no intention of being adhered to at the time it was given. The false promise itself must be of immediate relevance, or bear a direct nexus to the woman's decision to engage in the sexual act."
138. Reservation Category Candidates Who Make It On Their Own Merit Have To Be Adjusted Against General Category : SC Reiterates
[Case: State of Tamil Nadu & Ors. v. K Shobhana Etc; Citation: LL 2021 SC 138]
A three-judge bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy reiterated that reservation category candidates, who score more than the cut-off marks for the general category candidates, have to be adjusted against general category based on their meirt and not reserved category.
"The principle that such of the reservation category candidates who make it on their own merit have to be adjusted against the general category candidates has not been in doubt", the Court observed.
139. Time Is A Crucial Facet Of Scheme Under IBC; Resolution Applicant Must Be Fair In Its Dealings: Supreme Court
[Case: Kridhan Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. v. Venkatesan Sankaranarayan; Citation: LL 2021 SC 139]
Time is a crucial facet of the scheme under the IBC, the Supreme Court said while dismissing the appeal filed by a Resolution applicant. In this case, the National Company Law Tribunal [NCLT] allowed the liquidation of the Corporate Debtor to proceed. Upholding this order, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal [ NCLAT] observed that the applicant had failed to implement the Resolution Plan for a period of over eight months.
In appeal, the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah noted that sufficient opportunities were granted to the applicant earlier during the pendency of the proceedings both before the NCLT and NCLAT.
140. Anticipatory Bail Once Granted Does Not Automatically End With Filing Of Chargesheet, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Dr. Rajesh Pratap Giri v. State Of UP; Citation: LL 2021 SC 140]
A bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose reiterated that the anticipatory bail once granted does not automatically end on the filing of the chargesheet. In this case, the Allahabad High Court, on an application made by the complainant held that the anticipatory bail granted to the accused by the Trial Court came to an end with the filing of a chargesheet, and directed him to surrender and apply for regular bail.
The Top Court noted that in Sushila Aggarwal and Ors. v. State (NCT of Delhi) and Anr., (2020) 5 SCC 1, it was observed that 'mere fact that an accused is given relief under Section 438 at one stage, per se does not mean that upon the filing of a chargesheet, he is necessarily to surrender or/and apply for regular bail.'
141. Motor Accident Compensation: Multiplier Method Has To Be Applied For Future Prospects And Advancement In Life And Career: Supreme Court
[Case: Karthik Subramanian v. B. Sarath Babu; Citation: LL 2021 SC 141]
A Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta observed that, while computing motor accident compensation, multiplier method has to be applied for future prospects and advancement in life and career.
"In our view, this issue is no more res integra in view of Sandeep Khanduja's case (supra) and Erudhaya Priya's case (supra) opining that multiplier method has to be applied for future prospects and advancement in life and career. Thus, the same principle would have to apply and learned counsel for insurance Company cannot seriously contend to the contrary", the bench observed in the facts of the case.
142. NCLT Has Jurisdiction To Adjudicate Contractual Disputes Which Arise Solely From Or Which Relate To Corporate Debtor's Insolvency: Supreme Court
[Case: Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited v. Amit Gupta; Citation: LL 2021 SC 142]
The Supreme Court observed that the National Company Law Tribunal has jurisdiction to adjudicate contractual disputes, which arise solely from or which relate to the insolvency of the Corporate Debtor.
However, for adjudication of disputes that arise dehors the insolvency of the Corporate Debtor, the RP must approach the relevant competent authority, the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah observed while upholding the order of the National Company Law Tribunal which stayed the termination by the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited of its Power Purchase Agreement with Astonfield Solar (Gujarat) Private Limited.
143. Fed Up Of Seeing 'Cut-Copy-Paste' Orders Of High Courts; Independent Reasons Need To Be Cited: Justice Chandrachud
[Case: Union Public Service Commission v. Bibhu Prasad Sarangi; Citation: LL 2021 SC 143]
"One of the problems of the computer-age is copying and pasting of orders! I am fed-up of seeing cut-copy-paste orders of High Courts", remarked Justice DY Chandrachud. "Independent reasons have to be cited for affirming an order! There has to be an independent application of the mind! Cut, copy, paste from the Tribunal's judgment only adds to the volume of pages but does not answer the core issue of appeal!", added the judge.
The bench, also comprising Justice MR Shah, was considering the UPSC's SLP arising out of a Orissa High Court decision upholding the order of the CAT, Cuttack Bench on the issue whether the respondent could be denied a place in the IAS owing to a disciplinary penalty imposed in 2011. Justices Chandrachud and Shah noted that it is the UPSC Rules under Article 320 and not the DoPT guidelines which would hold fort in the matter and set aside the HC order, restoring the plea before the HC.
144. Supreme Court Ends Extension Of Limitation; Period From 15.03.2020 To 14.03.2021 Excluded From Limitation Period
[Case: In Re: Cognizance Of Extension Of Limitation; Citation: LL 2021 SC 144]
A bench comprising then Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justices L Nageswara Rao, and S Ravindra Bhat lifted the extension of the limitation period for filing of cases granted by the Court in March last year on account of COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown. "We are of the opinion that the order dated15.03.2020 has served its purpose and in view of the changing scenario relating to the pandemic, the extension of limitation should come to an end", the Court observed.
"Though,we have not seen the end of the pandemic, there is considerable improvement. The lockdown has been lifted and the country is returning to normalcy. Almost all the Courts and Tribunals are functioning either physically or by virtual mode", the bench observed.
145. Magistrates & Trial Judges Also Have Responsibility In Safeguarding Citizens' Fundamental Right: Supreme Court
[Case: Krishna Lal Chawla v. State Of UP; Citation: LL 2021 SC 145
The Magistrates and trial Judges have as much, if not more, responsibility in safeguarding the fundamental rights of the citizens of India as the highest court of this land, remarked a Bench of Justices Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and R. Subhash Reddy in a judgment in which it emphasized the role of the lower Judiciary in preventing abuse of criminal court process.
This is a case that should not have been allowed to reach as far as this Court, the bench said while quashing an order of Magistrate who issued process in a complaint lodged after six years of filing a NonCognizable Report with respect to same incident against the same accused.
146. Person Who Has Not Drawn The Cheque Cannot Be Prosecuted U/s 138 NI Act Even In Case Of Joint Liability: Supreme Court
[Case: Alka Khandu Avhad v. Amar Syamprasad Mishra; Citation: LL 2021 SC 146]
A Bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that, even in case of a joint liability, in case of individual persons, a person other than a person who has drawn the cheque on an account maintained by him, cannot be prosecuted for the offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.
"A person might have been jointly liable to pay the debt, but if such a person who might have been liable to pay the debt jointly, cannot be prosecuted unless the bank account is jointly maintained and that he was a signatory to the cheque," the bench held.
147. Arbitration: Supreme Court Suggests Amendments To Sections 11(7), 37 To Bring Section 8 & 11 At Par On Appealability
[Case: Pravin Electricals Pvt. Ltd. v. Galaxy Infra and Engineering Pvt. Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 147]
A Bench comprising of Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy observed that the amendments to Section 11(7) and 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 might be necessary so that the orders passed under Section 8 and 11 are brought on par as far as appealability is concerned.
Section 8, which deals with the power of a court to refer parties to arbitration, was amended in 2015 to state that such reference should not be made unless the court finds that prima facie a valid arbitration agreement exists. Also, Section 37 was amended in 2015 to allow for appeals against an order refusing to refer parties to arbitration under Section 8.
148. Criminal Case Ought To Be Inquired And Tried Ordinarily Where The Cause Of Action Has Accrued: Supreme Court
[Case: Swaati Nirkhi v. State (NCT Of Delhi); Citation: LL 2021 SC 148]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Indu Malhotra reiterated that a criminal case ought to be inquired and tried ordinarily where the cause of action has accrued. The bench observed thus while dismissing a transfer petition filed by accused seeking transfer of criminal case from the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate at New Delhi to the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate at Allahabad (Prayagraj), Uttar Pradesh.
149. Section 313 CrPC Statement By Accused Is Not A Substantive Evidence To Rebut Presumption Under Section 139 NI Act: Supreme Court
[Case: Sumeti Vij v. Paramount Tech Fab Industries; Citation: LL 2021 SC 149]
A bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi observed that the statement of the accused recorded under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is not a substantive evidence of defence to rebut the presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act that the cheques were issued for consideration. The bench was considering an appeal against the judgment of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh holding the accused guilty of offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.
150. Blanket Order Of Protection From Arrest Cannot Be Passed By High Court While Dismissing A Petition U/s 482 CrPC: Supreme Court
[Case: Ravuri Krishna Murthy v. State of Telangana; Citation: LL 2021 SC 150]
A Bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that a blanket order of protection from arrest cannot be passed by the High Court while dismissing a petition filed under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure seeking quashing of FIR.
The issue raised in this appeal was whether the High Court of Andhra Pradesh was justified in passing a blanket direction restraining the police from arresting the accused while at the same time having come to the conclusion that there was no merit in the petition for quashing under Section 482.
151. SLP Filed Only Against 'Review Order' Of HC Not Maintainable, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Sudarshan Budek v. State Of Odisha; Citation: LL 2021 SC 151]
A Bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy reiterated that Special leave Petitions filed only against the order of the High Court in Review Petition is not maintainable.
In this case, the special leave petitions against the substantive order were dismissed in 2010 without any liberty to file a review application(s) or approach the Apex Court again in case of an adverse verdict in the review application(s). Thereafter the review application(s) were filed by the petitioners before the High Court, which were dismissed. Against this dismissal of review petition by the High Court, Special Leave Petition was filed.
152. An Officer Who Did The Assessment Could Only Undertake Re-assessment Under Section 28 (4) Of Customs Act: Supreme Court
[Case: Canon India Private Limited v. Commissioner Of Customs; Citation: LL 2021 SC 152]
A bench comprising then CJI SA Bobde, AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian observed that an officer who did the assessment, could only undertake re-assessment under Section 28 (4) of the Customs Act.
The issue considered by the Court in this case was whether the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had authority in law to issue a show cause notice under Section 28(4) of the Act for recovery of duties allegedly not levied or paid when the goods have been cleared for import by a Deputy Commissioner of Customs who decided that the goods are exempted. In this case, a show cause notice was issued under Section 28 (4) to Canon India Private Limited alleging that the Customs Authorities had been induced to clear the cameras by wilful mis-statement and suppression of facts about the cameras.
153. Limitation Period For Filing 'Section 11' Application Seeking Appointment Of Arbitrator Governed By Article 137 Limitation Act: Supreme Court
[Case: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. v. Nortel Networks India Pvt. Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 153]
The period of limitation for filing an application under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act would be governed by Article 137 of the First Schedule of the Limitation Act, and will begin to run from the date when there is failure to appoint the arbitrator, the Supreme Court held. In rare and exceptional cases, where the claims are ex facie time barred, and it is manifest that there is no subsisting dispute, the Court may refuse to make the reference, the bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi held.
The court also suggested amendment of Section 11 of the Act to provide a period of limitation for filing an application under this provision, which is in consonance with the object of expeditious disposal of arbitration proceedings.
154. Mere Existence Of Civil Remedies Not A Ground To Quash Criminal Proceedings: Reiterates Supreme court
[Case: Priti Saraf v. State Of NCT Of Delhi; Citation: LL 2021 SC 154]
A bench comprising of Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi observed that existence of civil remedies by itself is not a ground to quash criminal proceedings. It observed that simply because there is a remedy provided for breach of contract or arbitral proceedings initiated at the instance of the complainant, that does not by itself clothe the court to come to a conclusion that civil remedy is the only remedy, and the initiation of criminal proceedings, in any manner, will be an abuse of the process of the court for exercising inherent powers of the High Court under Section 482 CrPC for quashing such proceedings.
The bench said that to exercise powers under Section 482 CrPC, the complaint in its entirety shall have to be examined on the basis of the allegation made in the complaint/FIR/charge-sheet and the High Court at that stage was not under an obligation to go into the matter or examine its correctness.
155. NCLT/NCLAT Can't Interfere With Commercial Wisdom Of CoC Except Within Limited Scope Under Sections 30 & 31 IBC : Supreme Court
[Case: Kalparaj Dharamshi & Anr. v. Kotak Investment Advisors Ltd & Ors; Citation: LL 2021 SC 155]
A 3-judge bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari reiterated that the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) or the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal(NCLAT) cannot interfere with the 'commercial wisdom' of the Committee of Creditors(CoC), except within the limited scope under Sections 30 and 31 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code(IBC).
Based on this well settled principle, it set aside an order of the NCLAT which had annulled the decision of CoC to accept a resolution plan.
156. Non-Filling Of Medical Seats Is Not A Solution: SC Declares Rule 12 (8)(a) Of Madhya Pradesh Chikitsa Shiksha Pravesh Niyam Unconstitutional
[Case: Index Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre v. State of Madhya Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 156]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Indira Banerjee held that Rule 12 (8) (a) of the Madhya Pradesh Chikitsa Shiksha Pravesh Niyam, 2018 is unconstitutional as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. According to Rule 12 (8) (a), the vacant seats as a result of allotted candidates from MOP-UP round not taking admission or candidates resigning from admitted seat shall not be included in the college level counselling (CLC) being conducted after MOP-UP round.
157. Single Bench Hearing Transfer Petition Cannot Invoke Article 142 To Pass A Decree Dissolving Marriage By Mutual Consent: Supreme Court
[Case: Sabita Shashank Singh v. Shashank Shekhar Singh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 157]
The Supreme Court observed that its single bench while hearing a Transfer Petition cannot invoke power under Article 142 of the Constitution to pass a decree for dissolving a marriage by mutual consent.
In this case, the parties (husband and wife) to a transfer petition before the Supreme Court filed a joint application for divorce by mutual consent of the parties. They requested the court to invoke jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, and to dispense with the compliance of some of the procedural formalities and timeline contemplated in Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act. The transfer petition was filed by the wife seeking transfer of the divorce petition filed by the husband from the Family Court, Pune, Maharashtra to the Principal Judge, Family Court, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.
158. Supreme Court Asks Govt Employees Holding Post Of State Election Commissioner To Immediately Step Down As SEC
[Case: State of Goa and another v. Fouzia Imtiaz Shaik; Citation: LL 2021 SC 158]
While holding that serving government employees cannot simultaneously function as State Election Commissioners, a bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy also gave a categorical direction that such officers should immediately step down as SECs.
The Court passed this important direction in exercise of powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to "ensure that the constitutional mandate of an independent State Election Commission which is to conduct elections under Part IX and IXA of the Constitution be strictly followed in the future".
Also Read: State Election Commissioners Must Be Independent Persons Who Are Not Holding Posts Under Central Or State Govts : SC
159. Section 195(1)(b)(i) CrPC Does Not Bar Prosecution By Investigating Agency For Offence U/s 193 IPC Committed During Investigation Stage
[Case: Bhima Razu Prasad v. State; Citation: LL 2021 SC 159]
The Supreme Court this week held that the prosecution by the investigating agency for offence punishable under Section 193 IPC [for fabricating false evidence] committed during the stage of investigation will not be barred under Section 195(1)(b)(i) CrPC if the investigating agency has lodged complaint or registered the case prior to commencement of proceedings and production of such evidence before the Trial Court.
In such circumstance, the said offences would not be considered an offence committed in, or in relation to, any proceeding in any Court for the purpose of Section 195(1)(b)(i), CrPC, the bench comprising Justices Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran observed.
160. Person Ineligible U/s 29A IBC To Submit Resolution Plan Cannot Propose Scheme Of Compromise & Arrangement U/s 230 Companies Act 2013: Supreme Court
[Case: Arun Kumar Jagatramka v. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd; Citation: LL 2021 SC 160]
The Supreme Court held that a person who is ineligible under Section 29A of the Insolvency Bankruptcy Code to submit a resolution plan, cannot propose a scheme of compromise and arrangement under Section 230 of the Companies Act, 2013.
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah also upheld the constitutional validity of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Liquidation Process) Regulations, 2016, which stipulate that a person who is not eligible under the IBC to submit a resolution plan for insolvency resolution of the corporate debtor shall not be a party in any manner to such compromise or arrangement.
161. Accused Can Be Summoned U/s 319 CrPC Even On The Basis Of Examination-In-Chief Of Witness: Supreme Court
[Case: Sartaj Singh v. State of Haryana; Citation: LL 2021 SC 161]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that an accused can be summoned under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on the basis of even examination in chief of the witness and the Court need not wait till his cross examination.
The bench observed that If on the basis of the examination in chief of the witness the Court is satisfied that there is a prima facie case against the proposed accused, the Court may in exercise of powers under Section 319 CrPC array such a person as accused and summon him to face the trial.
162. Seriousness Of Offence A Relevant Consideration While Considering The Grant Of Bail, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Naveen Singh v. State Of Uttar Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 162]
Seriousness of the offence is one of the relevant considerations while considering the grant of bail, a bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah reiterated. " High Court ought to have been more cautious/serious in granting the bail to a person who is alleged to have forged/manipulated the court record and taken the benefit of such manipulated and forged court record more particularly when he has been chargesheeted having found prima facie case and the charge has been framed," the bench observed while taking note of the allegations raised in the FIR against the accused.
163. Writ Petition Under Article 226 Not Maintainable Against Orders Passed By State Consumer Commission: Supreme Court
[Case: Mehra Bal Chikitsalaya Evam Navjat Shishu ICU v. Manoj Upadhyaya; Citation: LL 2021 SC 163]
A bench of Justices Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari opined that a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution challenging judgments and orders passed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission is not maintainable.
"We cannot help but to state in absolute terms that it is not appropriate for the High Courts to entertain writ petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India against the orders passed by the Commission, as a statutory appeal is provided and lies to this Court under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Once the legislature has provided for a statutory appeal to a higher court, it cannot be proper exercise of jurisdiction to permit the parties to bypass the statutory appeal to such higher court and entertain petitions in exercise of its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India," it was observed.
164. All Consumer Complaints Filed Before CPA 2019 Should Be Heard By Fora As Per Pecuniary Jurisdiction Under CPA 1986: Supreme Court
[Case: Neena Aneja & Ors. v. Jai Prakash Associates Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 164]
The Supreme Court held that consumer complaints filed before the coming into effect of the Consumer Protection Act 2019(CPA 2019) should continue in the fora in which they were filed as per the pecuniary jurisdiction under the previous Consumer Protection Act of 1986(CPA 1986).
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah set aside the directions of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission that the previously instituted cases as per the 1986 Act should be transferred to the respective fora as per the new pecuniary limits under the 2019 Act.
165. Default Bail: State Cannot Take Advantage Of Filing One Charge Sheet First And Seeking Time To File Supplementary Charge-sheets To Extend The Time Limit U/S 167(2)
[Case: Fakhrey Alam v. State of Uttar Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 165]
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy observed that the time period for investigation specified under Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure cannot be extended by seeking to file supplementary charge sheet qua UAPA offences.
The Court while granting default bail to Fakhrey Alam, a person accused under Section 18 of the UAPA Act, reiterated that default bail under first proviso of Section 167(2) of the Cr.P.C. is a fundamental right and not merely a statutory right.
166. "Insurer Should Deposit Award In Bank Account Maintained By MACT By RTGS/NEFT': SC Issues Directions For Uniform Procedure In Granting Motor Accident Compensation
[Case: Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Private Ltd. v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 166]
The Court issued a slew of directions regarding process of disbursement of compensation as well as expediting the matter before the MACTs across the country. According to these directions, jurisdictional police station has to submit an Accident Information Report about the accident to the tribunal and insurer within first 48 hours either over email or a dedicated website. They shall also submit a detailed accident report to them within three months.
167. Family Court Does Not Have Plenary Powers To Do Away With Mandatory Procedural Requirements: Supreme Court
[Case: Aman Lohia v. Kiran Lohia; Citation: LL 2021 SC 167]
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari observed that Family Courts does not have plenary powers to do away with the mandatory procedural requirements.
Family Court is expected to follow procedure known to law, which means insist for a formal pleading to be filed by both sides, then frame issues for determination, record evidence of the parties to prove the facts asserted by the concerned party and only thereafter, to enter upon determination and render decision thereon by recording reasons for such decision, the Court observed.
168. Impart Gender Sensitization Training To Judges; Include Such Courses In LLB & AIBE Syllabus: Supreme Court
[Case: Aparna Bhat v. State of Madhya Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 168]
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and S. Ravindra Bhat suggested that gender sensitization training should be imparted to Judges and public prosecutors. In doing so, the bench also observed that each High Court should formulate a module on judicial sensitivity to sexual offences, to be tested in the Judicial Services Examination. It also directed the Bar Council of India to take steps to include such courses as part of LLB and AIBE syllabus.
169. Factors Which May Not Be Relevant To Determine The Guilt Of Accused Can Be Considered At The Stage Of Sentencing: Supreme Court
[Case: K.Prakash v. State of Karnataka; Citation: LL 2021 SC 169]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy observed that factors which may not be relevant to determine the guilt of the accused can be considered at the stage of sentencing.
In this case, the accused were convicted under Sections 344 and 366 of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly conspiring with the other accused to kidnap a minor girl. They were sentenced to undergo Simple Imprisonment for one year for offence under Section 344, IPC and a fine of Rs.2000/- and S.I. for two years for the offence under Section 366, IPC and a fine of Rs.5000/-As the Karnataka High Court dismissed their appeals, they approached the Apex Court.
170. SC Overrules 'NV International' Verdict Which Held Delay Beyond 120 Days For Arbitration Appeal Under Section 37 Can't Be Condoned
[Case: Government of Maharashtra v. Borse Brothers Engineers and Contractors Pvt Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 170]
A two-judge bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and S Ravindra Bhat overruled its 2019 verdict in the case M/s NV International v. State of Assam which had strictly held that a delay of more than 120 days in filing of appeals under Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 cannot be condoned.
The Top Court has now held that delay beyond 90, 60 or 30 days for filing appeals under Section 37, depending on the forum, can be condoned. But the Court added a rider that such condonation of delay should be an exception and not the norm, having regard to the objective of the Arbitration Act for expeditious settlement of claims.
Also Read: Commercial Courts Act Does Not Exclude Application Of Section 5 Limitation Act: Supreme Court
171. Criminal Proceedings Are Not For Realization Of Disputed Dues, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Manoj Kumar Sood v. State Of Jharkhand; Citation: LL 2021 SC 171
A bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Krishna Murari reiterated that criminal proceedings are not for realization of disputed dues. A Criminal Court, exercising jurisdiction to grant bail/anticipatory bail, is not expected to act as a recovery agent to realise the dues of the complainant, and that too, without any trial, the bench observed.
172. Delay In Raising Juvenility Claim Is No Ground For Rejection Of Such A Claim: Supreme Court
[Case: Ram Chandra v. State of Uttar Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 172]
A bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Krishna Murari observed that the delay in raising the claim of juvenility is no ground for rejection of such a claim. The court was considering an application filed by one Isha Charan who has been convicted along with others under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced with imprisonment for life in relation to an incident which took place on 30-11-1982.
173. Supreme Court Nullifies Kerala High Court Direction That Final Report Under Section 173(2) CrPC Should Be Filed Even For Removal Of Accused
[Case: State of Kerala v. Anil Kumar & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 173]
A bench comprising Justices Mohan Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran has held that the general directions issued by the Kerala High Court regarding the deletion of parties from the array of accused in the final report should not be given effect to.
The bench observed that the directions will have no general application and will apply only to the facts of the particular case. The Court held so while disposing of a special leave petition filed by the State of Kerala against the general directions issued by a single bench of Justice P Somarajan of the Kerala High Court.
174. Supreme Court Deprecates Practice Of Passing Adverse Remarks Against Judicial Officers By HC In Judgments
[Case: KG Shanti v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 174]
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy deprecated the practice of making adverse remarks by High Courts against judicial officers. A judicial officer who presided Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal had approached the Apex Court against certain observations made personally against her by the High Court of Karnataka. Adverse remarks were made in the judgment in appeal against an order passed by the MACT Judge.
175. Supreme Court Bars Charging Compound Interest Or Penal Interest On Any Borrower During Loan Moratorium; Refuses Moratorium Extension
[Case: Small Scale Industrial Manufactures Association(Regd) v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 175]
A Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah directed that there should be no charging of compound interest, interest on interest or penal interest on the instalments which were due during the loan moratorium period from March 1 to August 31 last year on any borrower, irrespective of the loan amount. If such interest has already been collected, it should be either refunded to the borrower or adjusted towards the next instalments.
Also Read: Compound Interest In Nature Of Penal Interest; No Justification For Charging It Once RBI Has Allowed Loan Moratorium : SC
Also Read: Functions Of Ministries Don't Get Transferred To NDMA During National Disaster: Supreme Court
176. Telephonic Message Which Does Not Clearly Specify The Offence, Cannot Be Treated As An FIR: Supreme Court
[Case: Netaji Achyut Shinde (Patil) v. State Of Maharashtra; Citation: LL 2021 SC 176]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat observed that a telephonic message which does not clearly specify the offence, cannot be treated as an FIR. "A cryptic phone call without complete information or containing part-information about the commission of a cognizable offence cannot always be treated as an FIR. This proposition has been accepted by this Court in T.T. Antony v. State of Kerala (2001) 6 SCC 181 and Damodar v. State of Rajasthan (2004) 12 SCC 336," it said.
177. Section 14 Limitation Act Applies To Application Under Section 7 IBC : Supreme Court
[Case: Sesh Nath Singh v. Baidyabati Sheoraphuli Co-operative Bank Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 177]
A bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Hemant Gupta held that in an application under Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the applicant can claim the benefit of Section 14 of the Limitation Act, in respect of proceedings under the SARFAESI Act. Section 14 of the Limitation Act 1963 allows for exclusion from the limitation period the time spent litigating before wrong forum.
Also Read: Court/Tribunal Can Condone Delay Under Section 5 Limitation Act Even In The Absence Of A Formal Application: Supreme Court
178. Adjudicating Authority Cannot Substitute Any Commercial Term Of Resolution Plan Approved By Committee Of Creditors: Supreme Court
[Case: Jaypee Kensington Boulevard Apartments Welfare Association v. NBCC (India) Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 178]
The Supreme Court observed that adjudicating authority cannot substitute any commercial term of the resolution plan approved by Committee of Creditors. If, within its limited jurisdiction, the Adjudicating Authority finds any shortcoming in the resolution plan vis-à-vis the specified parameters, it would only send the resolution plan back to the Committee of Creditors, for re-submission, the bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna said.
179. Prevention Of Corruption Act- An Enquiry At Pre-FIR Stage Is Not Only Permissible But Desirable: Supreme Court
[Case: Charansingh v. State of Maharashtra; Citation: LL 2021 SC 179]
A bench Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that it is permissible to hold discrete/open enquiry, at pre FIR Registration stage in corruption cases. Referring to Lalita Kumari v. Government of Uttar Pradesh (2014) 2 SCC 1, the bench observed thus:
"An enquiry at pre-FIR stage is held to be permissible and not only permissible but desirable, more particularly in cases where the allegations are of misconduct of corrupt practice acquiring the assets/properties disproportionate to his known sources of income. After the enquiry/enquiry at pre-registration of FIR stage/preliminary enquiry, if, on the basis of the material collected during such enquiry, it is found that the complaint is vexatious and/or there is no substance at all in the complaint, the FIR shall not be lodged. However, if the material discloses prima facie a commission of the offence alleged, the FIR will be lodged and the criminal proceedings will be put in motion…"
Also Read: Statement Made During Enquiry At Pre FIR Stage Neither A Confession Nor A Statement U/s 160 CrPC: Supreme Court
180. Potentiality Of Acquired Land Has To Be Taken Into Consideration To Determine Market Value: Supreme Court
[Case: UP Awas Evam Vikash Parishad v. Asha Ram (D) Thr. Lrs., Citation: LL 2021 SC 180]
The Supreme Court observed that potentiality of the acquired land is one of the primary factors to be taken into consideration to determine the market value of the land. The question whether a land has potential value or not primarily depends upon its condition, situation, use to which it is put or its reasonable capability of being put and also its proximity to residential, commercial or industrial areas/institutions, the bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat observed while allowing the appeals filed by Uttar Pradesh Awas Evam Vikas Parishad against enhancement of compensation by the Allahabad High Court to land owners of the acquired lands in some villages in the State.
181. 'Structures Of Our Society Created By Males For Males': Supreme Court Holds Army's Evaluation Criteria To Grant Permanent Commission For Women Officers Arbitrary
[Case: Lt. Col Nitisha & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors; Citation: LL 2021 SC 181]
A Division Bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah declared that the evaluation criteria adopted by the Indian Army to consider the grant of permanent commission for women officers to be "arbitrary and irrational". The Court directed the Army to reconsider the pleas of women Short Service Commission officers for grant of PC within two months in accordance with the fresh directions issued by the Court.
Also Read: 'Not Enough To Proudly Say Women Are Allowed To Serve Army When Their Service Conditions Tell A Different Story' : Supreme Court In Permanent Commission Case
Also Read: Permanent Commission For Women Army Officers- Indirect Discrimination Even Without Discriminatory Intent Must Be Prohibited: Supreme Court
182. "Call For Justice Not Hate Speech": Supreme Court Quashes FIR Against Journalist Patricia Mukhim
[Case: Patricia Mukhim v. State of Meghalaya & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 182]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara and S. Ravindra Bhat quashed a FIR registered against Shillong Times Editor Patricia Mukhim over a Facebook post on violence against non-tribal people in Meghalaya. The Court noted that the Facebook post was directed against the apathy shown by the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, the Director General of Police and the Dorbar Shnong of the area in not taking any action against the culprits who attacked the non-tribals youngsters. The Court allowed the appeal filed by Mukhim challenging the Meghalaya High Court order which had dismissed her plea to quash the FIR.
Also Read: Free Speech Of Citizens Cannot Be Stifled By Implicating Them In Criminal Cases: Supreme Court
183. Cull Out Information From Bond Purchaser & Political Party; Do 'Match The Following': SC Says Electoral Bond Anonymity Can Be Pierced
[Case: Association for Democratic Reforms v. Union of India & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 183]
It is not as though the operations under the Electoral Bond Scheme are behind iron curtains incapable of being pierced, a Bench led by then CJI SA Bobde remarked while it refused to stay the release of the fresh set of electoral bonds from April 1 for the assembly polls in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry.
The bench also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian observed that, as the Scheme mandates political parties to file audited statement of accounts and also since the Companies Act requires financial statements of registered companies to be filed with the Registrar of Companies, the purchase as well as encashment of the bonds, happening only through banking channels, is always reflected in documents that eventually come to the public domain.
184. Supreme Court Allows Tata Sons Appeal Against NCLAT Order To Reinstate Cyrus Mistry As Chairman
[Case: Tata Sons Ltd v. Cyrus Mistry & Ors; Citation: LL 2021 SC 184]
In a big win for Tata Sons Ltd, the Supreme Court bench headed by then CJI SA Bobde allowed its appeal against the order of the National Company Law Tribunal, which had ordered to reinstate the ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry. The Court held that the actions of Tata Sons board against Mistry did not amount to oppression of minority shareholders or mismanagement. The bench also said that it was open for Tatas and Mistry to work out their separation terms.
Also Read: Company Tribunal Not A Labour Court Or Administrative Tribunal To Focus Entirely On Removal Of Director : Supreme Court In Tata-Mistry Case
185. State Govt A 'Party Interested' Under Section 406 CrPC; Entitled To Seek Transfer Of Case From Another State: Supreme Court
[Case: State of UP v. Jail Superintendent (Ropar) & Ors; Citation: LL 2021 SC 185]
A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan allowed the appeal filed by the Uttar Pradesh Government's plea seeking transfer of BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari from Ropar Jail in Punjab to Uttar Pradesh's Ghazipur Jail. In allowing Uttar Pradesh Government's appeal, the Supreme Court, while not delving into whether the petition was maintainable under Article 32, held that a State as "party interested" under Section 406 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
Also Read: Supreme Court Allows UP's Plea To Transfer Mukhtar Ansari From Punjab Jail
186. Insolvency Process Maintainable Against Corporate Guarantor Even If Principal Borrower Is Not A 'Corporate Person': Supreme Court
[Case: Laxmi Pat Surana v. Union Bank Of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 186]
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari held that the principal borrower need not be a "corporate person" for insolvency process to be initiated against a company which stood as its guarantor. The bench observed that the principal borrower may or may not be a corporate person, but if a corporate person extends guarantee for the loan transaction concerning a principal borrower not being a corporate person, it would still be covered within the meaning of expression "corporate debtor" in Section 3(8) of the Code.
187. Arbitration Reference Not Maintainable If Filed After Admission Of Insolvency Resolution Petition U/s 7 IBC: Supreme Court
[Case: Indus Biotech Private Limited v. Kotak India Venture (Offshore) Fund; Citation: LL 2021 SC 187]
Supreme Court bench headed by then CJI SA Bobde observed that in any proceeding which is pending before the Adjudicating Authority under Section 7 of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, if such petition is admitted upon the Adjudicating Authority recording the satisfaction with regard to the default and the debt being due from the corporate debtor, any application seeking reference to arbitration under Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act made thereafter will not be maintainable.
188. Second Appeal: Judgment Should Not Be Interfered With By High Court Unless There Is A Substantial Question Of Law, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Mallanaguoda v. Ninganagouda; Citation: LL 2021 SC 188]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat reiterated that, the judgment of the First Appellate Court should not be interfered with by the High Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, unless there is a substantial question of law. The First Appellate Court is the final Court on facts.
189. Minor Contradictions Can Not Be A Ground To Discredit Witnesses' Testimony, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Rajendra @ Rajappa v. State of Karnataka; Citation: LL 2021 SC 189]
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy reiterated that only contradictions in material particulars and not minor contradictions can be a ground to discredit the testimony of the witnesses. It observed thus while dismissing the appeal filed by murder accused against the Judgment of Karnataka High Court which had reversed their acquittal by the Trial Court.
190. 'Comprehensive Traffic Management Plan For Kaushambi, Ghaziabad Needed': Supreme Court Constitutes Committee
[Case: VK Mittal & Anr v. Union of Delhi & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 190]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, MR Shah and Sanjiv Khanna constituted a committee to evolve a "comprehensive traffic management plan" for Kaushambi, Ghaziabad. It passed a direction in this regard in a writ petition filed by the President of the Kaushambi Apartments Resident Welfare Association under Article 32 of the Constitution, highlighting a magnitude of problems faced by Kaushambi, Ghaziabad residents.
191. Purchasers Of Non-GST Goods Entitled To 'Form C' Under CST For Concessional Rate Even After GST Act: Supreme Court
[Case: The Commissioner of Commercial Taxes & Anr v. Ramco Cements Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 191
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari has upheld the views taken by various High Courts that the Goods and Services Tax Act does not affect the right of purchasers of goods not covered by the GST to get Form 'C' under the Central Sales Tax Act to avail concessional tax rate. The top court noted that nine High Courts across the country have taken the same view.
192. Seriousness Of Charge Relevant Factor: Supreme Court Sets Aside Bail Granted To Man Accused Of Murdering Lady Doctor
[Case: State of Kerala v. Mahesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 192]
A bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Krishna Murari set aside the Kerala High Court order which granting bail to a man accused murder of a lady doctor and observed that seriousness of the charge is one of the relevant considerations while considering bail applications. It observed that the power to grant bail under Section 439 of the Cr.P.C is discretionary, such discretion has to be exercised judiciously. Moreover, it was observed that seriousness of the charge is undoubtedly one of the relevant considerations while considering bail applications.
193. Acquittal Based On Benefit Of Doubt In Serious Crime Cannot Make Candidate Eligible For Public Employment: Supreme Court
[Case: State Of Rajasthan v. Love Kush Meena; Citation: LL 2021 SC 193]
A Division Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy reiterated that acquittal based on a benefit of doubt in respect of a heinous or serious nature of crime cannot make the candidate eligible for public employment. In this case, Love Kush Meena cleared the recruitment of constable in Rajasthan Police Service. However, he was not appointed in view of being tried in a criminal case. It was found that, though he was acquitted, the charges against him were not of a trivial nature but were serious offences and the candidate was not acquitted by the Court honourably.
194. HC Under Article 226 Should Not Entertain A Dispute Which Is Arbitrable Unless There Is An Issue Of Public Interest: Supreme Court
[Case: Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon Limited v. Haryana Mass Rapid Transport Corporation; Citation: LL 2021 SC 194]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, MR Shah and Sanjiv Khanna observed that ordinarily a High Court in its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution has to decline to entertain a dispute which is arbitrable, unless there is a fundamental issue of public interest. In this case the High Court had entertained the writ petition even though there was an arbitration clause between the parties. In appeal, the Apex Court noted that the High Court was concerned over a fundamental issue of public interest, which was the hardship that would be caused to commuters who use the rapid metro as a vehicle for mass transport in Gurgaon.
195. Petition Styled As One Under Article 226 Would Not Bar High Court To Exercise Its Jurisdiction Which Otherwise It Possesses: Supreme Court
[Case: Kiran Devi v. Bihar State Sunni Wakf Board; Citation: LL 2021 SC 195]
With respect to sub-section (9) of Section 83 of the Wakf Act, a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, S. Abdul Nazeer and Hemant Gupta observed that a petition styled as one under Article 226 would not bar the High Court to exercise its jurisdiction which otherwise it possesses under a Statute and/or under Article 227 of the Constitution.
196. Hindu Undivided Family - No Presumption That Business Run By Karta In Tenented Premise Is Joint Family Asset: Supreme Court
[Case: Kiran Devi v. Bihar State Sunni Wakf Board; Citation: LL 2021 SC 195]
Just because a business was run by a karta of a Hindu Undivided Family in a tenented premise, there is no presumption that it is a joint Hindu family business, held a bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S Abdul Nazeer and Hemant Gupta. It observed that even if a male member had taken premises on rent, he is tenant in his individual capacity and not as Karta of Hindu Undivided Family in the absence of any evidence.
197. Quantity Of Narcotic Substance Recovered Is A Relevant Factor To Impose Punishment Higher Than The Minimum: Supreme Court
[Case: Gurdev Singh v. State of Punjab; Citation: LL 2021 SC 196]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that quantity of narcotic substance recovered is a relevant factor that can be taken into account for imposing higher than the minimum punishment under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. The Court also observed that the Court has a wide discretion to impose the sentence/imprisonment ranging between 10 years to 20 years and while imposing such sentence/imprisonment in addition, the Court may also take into consideration factor as it may deem fit other than the factors enumerated in Section 32B (a) to (f) of the Act.
198. No Automatic Vacation Of Stay Under 3rd Proviso To Section 254(2A) Income Tax Act If Assessee Is Not Responsible For Delay In Hearing Appeal: Supreme Court
[Case: Deputy Commissioner Of Income Tax v. Pepsi Foods Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 197]
A Bench comprising of Justices BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy upheld a Delhi High Court judgment which read down the third proviso to Section 254(2A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. "Any order of stay shall stand vacated after the expiry of the period or periods mentioned in the Section only if the delay in disposing of the appeal is attributable to the assessee", the bench said. The court noted that the object sought to be achieved by the third proviso to Section 254(2A) of the Income Tax Act is the speedy disposal of appeals before the Appellate Tribunal in cases in which a stay has been granted in favour of the assessee.
199. Question Of Novation Of Contract Cannot Be Considered In A Petition Under Section 11 Arbitration Act: Supreme Court
[Case: Sanjiv Prakash v. Seema Kukreja; Citation: LL 2021 SC 198]
A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy observed that the question of novation of contract containing an arbitration clause cannot be considered by the Court in a petition filed under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The court said that a Section 11 court would refer the matter when contentions relating to non-arbitrability are plainly arguable, or when facts are contested. The court cannot, at this stage, enter into a mini trial or elaborate review of the facts and law which would usurp the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal.
200. 'Frequent & Causal Summoning Of High Officials By Court Cannot Be Appreciated': Supreme Court
[Case: State of UP & Ors. v. Manoj Kumar Sharma; Citation: LL 2021 SC 199]
A Division Bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta observed that frequent, causal and lackadaisical summoning of high officials by the Court cannot be appreciated. The observation came in a SLP filed by the UP Government against a summoning order passed by the Allahabad High Court in a contempt case.
201. Quality Of Reasons Matters The Most: Supreme Court Sets Aside Bail Granted To Accused In Dowry Death Case
[Case: Sonu v. Sonu Yadav; Citation: LL 2021 SC 200]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah that while the reasons may be brief, it is the quality of the reasons which matters the most. The observation came while the bench was setting aside an Allahabad High Court which granted bail to a man accused in a dowry death case.
202. Nothing On Record To Even Remotely Suggest That The Act Was Consensual: Supreme Court Upholds Rape Conviction
[Case: Lelu Alias Lain Kumar v. State Of Chhattisgarh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 201]
A Bench of Justices UU Lalit and Indira Banerjee upheld the conviction of a rape accused rejecting his contention that the act was consensual. The court perused the statement made by the prosecuterix. It noted that the prosecuterix had clearly stated that the accused had raped her and she could not raise alarm as her mouth was shut.
203. 'Right Not To Be Deported' Is Ancillary To A Fundamental Right Available Only To Indian Citizens: Supreme Court In Rohingyas Case
[Case: Mohammad Salimullah v. Union Of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 202]
While rejecting a plea to stop the deportation of Rohingya refugees detained in Jammu, a bench comprising of then CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian observed that the right not to be deported is ancillary to the fundamental right to reside or settle in any part of India guaranteed under Article 19(1)(e) of the Constitution. It thus dismissed an interlocutory application filed seeking (i) the release of the detained Rohingya refugees; and (ii) a direction to the Union of India not to deport them.
204. High Court Under Article 226 And 227 Should Be Extremely Circumspect In Interfering With Orders Passed Under Arbitration Act: Supreme Court
[Case: Navayuga Engineering Company v. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited; Citation: LL 2021 SC 203]
A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai reiterated that a High Court while exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 and 227 should be extremely circumspect in interfering with orders passed under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The bench held that such interference can be made only in cases of exceptional rarity or cases which are stated to be patently lacking in inherent jurisdiction.
205. Payment Of Extortion Money Does Not Amount To Terror Funding: Supreme Court Grants Bail To UAPA Accused
[Case: Sudesh Kedia v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 204]
Payment of extortion money does not amount to terror funding, a bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat observed while granting bail to an accused arrested under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA]. In this case, the bail application of Sudesh Kedia was dismissed by the High Court on a finding that he had been paying extortion money, and thus contributed to funding of the terrorist organization. The Supreme Court on the other hand observed Prima facie, it cannot be said that the Appellant conspired with the other members of the TPC and raised funds to promote the organization.
206. Compassionate Employment Cannot Be Granted After A Lapse Of Reasonable Period: Supreme Court
[Case: Central Coalfields Limited v. Parden Oraon; Citation: LL 2021 SC 205]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat observed that compassionate employment cannot be granted after a lapse of reasonable period. "Consideration of such employment is not a vested right which can be exercised at any time in the future," it observed.
207. Escalation Of Prices Cannot Be The Sole Ground To Deny Specific Performance: Supreme Court
[Case: AR Madana Gopal v. Ramnath Publications Pvt. Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 206]
Escalation of prices cannot be the sole ground to deny specific performance, a bench comprising of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat observed. It further said that once a suit for specific performance has been filed, any delay as a result of the Court process cannot be put against the plaintiff as a matter of law in decreeing specific performance.
208. Court Cannot Second-Guess Authority's Interpretation Of Tender Unless It Is Arbitrary, Perverse Or Malafide, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: M/S Utkal Suppliers v. Maa Kanak Durga Enterprises; Citation: LL 2021 SC 207]
An Authority's interpretation of its own Tender cannot be so second-guessed by a Court unless it is arbitrary, perverse or mala fide, the Supreme Court reiterated. The bench comprising of Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai noted that the authority which floats the contract or tender, and has authored the tender documents is the best judge as to how the documents have to be interpreted. If two interpretations are possible then the interpretation of the author must be accepted.
209. AP High Court Enquiry Into Justice Eswaraiah's 'Phone Call Conspiracy' Unnecessary: Supreme Court
[Case: Justice V. Eswaraiah (Retd.) v. Union of India & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 208]
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy granted relief to former Andhra Pradesh High Court judge, Justice V. Eswaraiah against an Order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court directing for a judicial inquiry into an alleged phone conversation between him and a District Judge plotting "conspiracy" against the High Court Chief Justice and a sitting Supreme Court Judge. It noted that the High Court ordered the enquiry against Eswaraiah was ordered while hearing an unconnected PIL related to following of COVID-19 protocols in the High Court.
210. Breath Analysis Or Blood Test Not Necessary For Insurer To Reject Claim On Ground Of Drunken Driving: Supreme Court
[Case: IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company Ltd v. Pearl Beverages Ltd; Citation: LL 2021 SC 209]
A bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, Indira Banerjee and KM Joseph held that a breath analyzer test or blood test as contemplated under the Motor Vehicles Act is not necessary for an insurer to repudiate an accident policy claim on the ground of drunken driving. The Court held that if the insurance company is able to establish from the facts that the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident, it will not be deprived of its right to exclude the policy benefit merely on the ground that the scientific tests for alcohol presence were not carried out.
211. Defence On Merits Is Not To Be Considered At Stage Of Framing Of Charge And/ Or At The Stage Of Discharge Application: Supreme Court
[Case: State of Rajasthan v. Ashok Kumar Kashyap; Citation: LL 2021 SC 210]
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that defence on merits is not to be considered at the stage of framing of the charge and/or at the stage of discharge application. The Court observed that at the stage of framing of the charge and/or considering the discharge application, the mini trial is not permissible.
212. High Courts Shall Not Pass Order Of 'Not To Arrest' Or 'No Coercive Steps' While Dismissing/Disposing Petition U/s 482 CrPC: Supreme Court
[Case: M/s Neeharika Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Maharashtra; Citation: LL 2021 SC 211]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, MR Shah and Sanjiv Khanna held that a High Court, while dismissing/disposing of the quashing petition under Section 482 CrPC and/or under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, shall not pass order of not to arrest and/or "no coercive steps" either during the investigation or till the investigation is completed and/or till the final report/chargesheet is filed under Section 173 CrPC.
It observed that when the investigation is in progress and the facts are hazy and the entire evidence/material is not before the High Court, the High Court should restrain itself from passing the interim order of not to arrest or "no coercive steps to be adopted" and the accused should be relegated to apply for anticipatory bail under Section 438 CrPC before the competent court.
213. 2019 Amendment To Section 31 IBC Has Retrospective Operation: Supreme Court
[Case: Ghanashyam Mishra And Sons Pvt. Ltd. v. Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 212]
A bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy held that 2019 amendment to Section 31 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has retrospective operation. The Court observed that the amendment is clarificatory and declaratory in nature and therefore will be effective from the date on which I&B Code has come into effect.
Regarding the retrospectivity of Section 31, the bench observed that the word "other stakeholders" would squarely cover the Central Government, any State Government or any local authorities.
214. Right To Professional Education, Though Not Fundamental Right, Is Not Govt. Largesse; State Has Affirmative Obligation To Facilitate Access At All Levels: SC
[Case: Farzana Batool v. Union of India & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 213]
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that the State has an affirmative obligation to facilitate access to education, at all levels. "While the right to pursue higher (professional) education has not been spelt out as a fundamental right in Part III of the Constitution, it bears emphasis that access to professional education is not a governmental largesse. Instead, the State has an affirmative obligation to facilitate access to education, at all levels", it observed.
The Court was considering writ petitions by two students, namely, Farzana Batool and Mohammad Mehdi Waziri for directions to facilitate them to be admitted respectively at the Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi and the Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi in terms of the policy and guidelines issued by the Govt. of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare through its Office Memorandum dated 9th April 2020 on allocation of Ladakh Central Pool Seats in MBBS/BDS courses for 2020-21.
215. 'Too Late To Approach Court' : Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Against Dismantling Of 'INS Viraat'
[Case: Envitech Marine Consultants Private Limited v. Union Of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 214]
A Bench comprising of then CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian dismissed the SLP filed by a private firm seeking stay on dismantling of decommissioned Indian Navy aircraft carrier 'INS Viraat' and handing it over to them for conversion into a maritime museum.
"We are with you as far as the spirit of nationalism is concerned, but you are already too late in this case. 40% of the ship has been dismantled. We cannot interfere now. Government has already taken a decision," the CJI informed the Petitioner.
216. Balance Sheets Entries Can Amount To Acknowledgement Of Debt U/s 18 Limitation Act: Supreme Court Sets Aside NCLAT Full Bench Ruling
[Case: Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Limited v. Bishal Jaiswal; Citation: LL 2021 SC 215]
A bench comprising of Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy held that entries in balance sheets can amount to acknowledgement of debt for the purpose of extending limitation under Section 18 of the Limitation Act. It referred to an old Calcutta High Court decision in Bengal Silk Mills Co. v. Ismail Golam Hossain Ariff, AIR 1962 Cal 115, the bench observed:
"Importantly, this judgment holds that though the filing of a balance sheet is by compulsion of law, the acknowledgement of a debt is not necessarily so. In fact, it is not uncommon to have an entry in a balance sheet with notes annexed to or forming part of such balance sheet, or in the auditor's report, which must be read along with the balance sheet, indicating that such entry would not amount to an acknowledgement of debt for reasons given in the said note."
217. Functional Convenience Of A Party In Commercial Litigations Cannot Be A Ground To Transfer Case U/s 25 CPC: Supreme Court
[Case: Fumo Chem Pvt. Ltd. v. Raj Process Equipments And Systems Pvt. Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 216]
The Bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose observed that functional convenience of one of the parties in commercial litigations cannot be a ground to transfer under Section 25 of CPC. "A petitioner seeking transfer of a case involving business-related disputes from one jurisdiction to another will have to establish some grave difficulty or prejudice in prosecuting or defending the case in a forum otherwise having power to adjudicate the cause," it observed.
In this case, the petitioner company sought transfer of a subsequent suit instituted by the respondents against them in Pune to Ahmedabad. The court noted that the petitioners' case is largely founded on the claim of having approached a judicial forum before the respondents did and both the suits emanate from the same set of facts with the same set of parties.
218. Section 138 NI Act - Magistrates Should Record Reasons Before Converting Summary Trial To Summons Trial: Supreme Court
[Case: In Re Expeditious Trial Of Cases Under Section 138 of N.I Act; Citation: LL 2021 SC 217]
A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of then CJI SA Bobde, Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai, AS Bopanna and S Ravindra Bhat directed that Magistrates have to record reasons before converting trial of complaints under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act from summary trial to summons trial in exercise of power under the second proviso to Section 143 of the Act.
The court noted that such conversion from summary trial to summons trial is being done mechanically without reasons being recorded and the same is contributing to the delay in disposal of the cases.
Also Read: 'Amend Section 138 NI Act To Allow One Trial For Multiple Cases From Single Transaction' : Supreme Court Issues Directions For Expeditious Trial Of Cheque Cases
219. Private Vehicle Is Not A "Public Place" As Explained In Section 43 NDPS Act: Supreme Court
[Case: Boota Singh v. State Of Haryana; Citation: LL 2021 SC 218]
A bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and KM Joseph observed that a private vehicle would not come within the expression "public place" as explained in Section 43 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. The bench also observed that total non-compliance of Section 42 is impermissible though its rigor may get lessened in certain situations.
In this case, recovery was effected from the accused while they were sitting on road in a jeep at a public place. While upholding the conviction of the accused, the High Court held that the case of accused would be covered by Section 43 of NDPS Act and not by Section 42. Section 42 deals with Power of entry, search, seizure and arrest without warrant or authorisation while Section 43 with power of seizure and arrest in public place.
220. Supreme Court Hands Over Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple Management To Committee Headed By Former SC Judge Justice BN Srikrishna
[Case: Ramchandrapura Math v. Sri Samsthana Mahabaleshwara Devaru & Ors; Citation: LL 2021 SC 219]
A three-judge Bench of then CJI SA Bobde, Justice Bopanna and Justice Ramasubramanian handed over the management of Gokarna Mahabaleshwar temple to an oversight committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice BN Srikrishna. It said that in modification of all the interim orders passed by the Supreme Court earlier, the Gokarna Mahabaleshwar temple shall function under the oversight committee headed by Justice BN Srikrishna.
The Court passed the interim order in an appeal filed challenging Karnataka High Court's judgment of 2018 which quashed the Government's order handing over management of Mahabaleshwar temple at Gokarna to Ramchandrapura Math.
221. Supreme Court Forms Committee To Study Feasibility Of Under Grounding Of Over Head Power Lines To Protect Great Indian Bustard
[Case: MK Ranjith Singh & Ors. v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 220]
A bench comprising of then CI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian passed directions regarding the under-grounding of overhead electric lines in Rajasthan and Gujarat in order to protect Great Indian Bustard from extinction.
A High Level Committee has been constituted to examine the feasibility of under-grounding of over-head power lines. The Court has ordered that the recommendations of the committee shall be implemented by power-generators and other stake-holders.
222. Consent Of Parties Cannot Obviate Duty Of Court To Indicate Its Reasons For Granting Or Refusing Bail: Supreme Court
[Case: Ramesh Bhavan Rathod v. Vishanbhai Hirabhai Makwana Makwana (Koli); Citation: LL 2021 SC 221]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that consent of parties cannot obviate the duty of the High Court to indicate its reasons why it has either granted or refused bail.
The observation came while setting aside the orders of the High Court of Gujarat granting bail, under Section 439 of CrPC, to six murder accused who were arrested for their alleged involvement in five homicidal deaths. In the order granting bail, the High Court recorded that 'Learned Advocates appearing on behalf of the respective parties do not press for further reasoned order'.
223. GST - Provisional Attachment Power 'Draconian'; Not Intended To Authorize Commissioners To Make Preemptive Strikes On Assessee's Property: Supreme Court
[Case: Radha Krishan Industries v. State of Himachal Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 222]
A Bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah held that the power of provisional attachment under GST laws must be strictly construed, being a draconian power, and that the same should be exercised only on the basis of tangible material. The bench held that the exercise of the power for ordering a provisional attachment must be preceded by the formation of an opinion by the Commissioner that it is necessary so to do for the purpose of protecting the interest of the government revenue.
The power to order a provisional attachment of the property of the taxable person including a bank account is draconian in nature and the conditions which are prescribed by the statute for a valid exercise of the power must be strictly fulfilled, it observed while interpreting Section 83 of the Himachal Pradesh Goods and Service Tax Act.
224. 'High Courts Are In A Crisis Situation': Supreme Court Lays Down Time Line For Appointment Of High Court Judges
[Case: PLR Projects Ltd v. Mahanadi Coalfields Pvt Ltd; Citation: LL 2021 SC 223]
Expressing grave concerns at the mounting vacancies of High Court judges, a bench comprising of then CJI SA Bobde, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Surya Kant emphasized that the Central Government should proceed to make appointments immediately after the Supreme Court Collegium has cleared the names.
If the Government has any reservation over the Collegium recommendations, it should send back the names with specific reasons for reservations. Once the Supreme Court Collegium reiterates the names, the Centre should make the appointment within 3-4 weeks of such reiteration.
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225. Supreme Court Asks High Courts To Adopt Draft Rules Of Criminal Practice Within 6 Months
[Case: In Re To Issue Certain Guidelines Regarding Inadequacies and Deficiencies in Criminal Trial v. State of Andhra Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 224]
A bench comprising of then CJI SA Bobde, Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat directed the High Courts to adopt the draft rules of criminal practice, which has been prepared by amici curiae Senior Advocates R Basant, Sidharth Luthra and Advocate K Paremshwar, within a period of 6 months.
The High Courts shall take expeditious steps to adopt the said draft rules and ensure that existing rules are suitably modified within a period of 6 months, the Supreme Court ordered. If the state government's co-operation is necessary in this regard, the approval of the concerned department or departments, and the formal notification of the said Draft Rules, shall be made within the said period of six months, it said.
226. 'Ad-Hoc Judges Not An Alternative To Regular Appointments': Supreme Court Passes Guidelines On Appointment Of Ad-Hoc Judges In HCs Under Article 224A
[Case: Lok Prahari v. Union of India & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 225]
A bench comprising of then CJI SA Bobde, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Surya Kant passed a slew of guidelines regarding the appointment of ad-hoc judges in High Courts under Article 224A of the Constitution, to tackle the problem of mounting case arrears in High Courts.
While agreeing that the discretion of the High Court Chief Justice cannot be curtailed, the bench said that certain general guidelines are needed so that the power under Article 224A is exercised in a transparent manner. It laid down 5 trigger points which can activate the process under Article 224A:
(i) If the vacancies are more than 20% of the sanctioned strength; (ii) The cases in a particular category are pending for over five years; (iii) More than 10% of the backlog of pending cases are over five years old; (iv) The percentage of the rate of disposal is lower than the institution of the cases either in a particular subject matter or generally in the Court; (v) Even if there are not many old cases pending, but depending on the jurisdiction, a situation of mounting arrears is likely to arise if the rate of disposal is consistently lower than the rate of filing over a period of a year or more.
Also Read: 'If Vacancies Are More Than 20% Sanctioned Strength' : Supreme Court Lays Down 5 Trigger Points To Appoint Ad-Hoc Judges In High Courts
227. Indian Parties Can Choose A Foreign Seat For Arbitration: Supreme Court
[Case: PASL Wind Solutions Private Limited v. GE Power Conversion India Pvt. Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 226]
A three-judge bench comprising of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy held that parties to a contract who are Indian nationals or Companies incorporated in India can choose a forum for arbitration outside India. "Nothing stands in the way of party autonomy in designating a seat of arbitration outside India even when both parties happen to be Indian nationals," it observed.
"Freedom of contract needs to be balanced with clear and undeniable harm to the public, even if the facts of a particular case do not fall within the crystallised principles enumerated in well-established 'heads' of public policy. The question that then arises is whether there is anything in the public policy of India, as so understood, which interdicts the party autonomy of two Indian persons referring their disputes to arbitration at a neutral forum outside India," the Court said.
228. Mandamus Cannot Be Issued For Setting Up An Adjudicatory Body Or Tribunal: Supreme Court
[Case: John Paily v. State of Kerala; Citation: LL 2021 SC 227]
A Bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that a mandamus cannot be issued by the Courts for setting up an adjudicatory body or Tribunal. It thus dismissed a petition seeking a direction to set up an independent Tribunal comprising of retired High Court judges who can look into the claims of each parish Church to determine which faction/denomination must have control over each such Church.
"Entry 11A of the Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution deals with, inter alia, "constitution and organization of all courts, except the Supreme Court and the High Courts". Having due regard to the provisions of Articles 245 and 246 of the Constitution, no such mandamus can be issued by this Court. Nor can a direction be issued by this Court to the legislature of a State to enact a law." the bench observed.
229. Power Under Section 482 CrPC Cannot Be Used To Undermine Statutory Dictate Under Section 14, 17 IBC: Supreme Court
[Case: Case: Sandeep Khaitan, Resolution Professional For National Plywood Industries Ltd. v. JSVM Plywood Industries Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 228]
The power under Section 482 of CrPC cannot be used to overlook the undermining of a statutory dictate, a Bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit and KM Joseph observed.
In this case, the High Court allowed an interlocutory application filed by a Company claiming to be an operational creditor to allow it to operate its bank account maintained with the ICICI Bank and to unfreeze the bank account of its creditors over which the lien has been created and the accounts frozen pursuant to the lodging of an FIR by the Interim Resolution Professional.
"We have to also in this context bear in mind that the High Court appears to have, in passing the impugned order, which is an interim order for that matter, overlooked the salutary limits on its power under Section 482. The power under Section 482 may not be available to the Court to countenance the breach of a statuary provision. The words 'to secure the ends of justice' in Section 482 cannot mean to overlook the undermining of a statutory dictate, which in this case is the provisions of Section 14, and Section 17 of the IBC", the bench observed.
230. Liberty Is Important But Courts Must Consider Potential Threat To Witnesses, Victims While Granting Bail: Supreme Court
[Case: Sudha Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 229]
A Bench of then CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian reiterated that it is necessary for courts to consider the impact on the witnesses or victims in a criminal case while granting bail to an accused. Observing thus, it set aside an order of the Allahabad High Court which granted bail to an accused who was arrested under the U.P. Gangster and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986.
The accused was alleged to be a contract killer and sharp shooter. Challenging the bail granted by the High Court, the widow of the deceased approach the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court observed that the High Court has overlooked several aspects, such as the potential threat to witnesses, forcing the trial court to grant protection.
231. Supreme Court Restores Order Extending Limitation; Period From 14.03.2021 Excluded From Computing Limitation Period Until Further Orders
[Case: In Re Cognizance of Extension of Limitation; Citation: LL 2021 SC 230]
A bench comprising of CJI NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna extended limitation period for the filing of cases in courts and tribunals with effect from 14.03.2021 until further orders in view of the second wave of the COVID19 pandemic. The Court said the COVID19 second wave has created an "alarming situation" and has put the litigants in a "difficult situation".
The bench extended all periods of limitation ending on 14.03.2021 until further orders, by restoring the order passed on March 23, 2020, which had extended the limitation period. The period from 14.03.2021 will stand excluded from computing the limitation period under all special and general laws.
232. Section 3(2)(v) of SC/ST Act Will Attract As Long As Caste Identity Is One Of The Grounds For The Occurrence Of Offence: SC Doubts Earlier Judgments
[Case: Patan Jamal Vali v. State of Andhra Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 231]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah doubted the earlier judgments which interpreted Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,1989, to mean that the offence should have been committed "only on the ground that the victim was a member of the Scheduled Caste".
It observed that this provision will attract as long as caste identity is one of the grounds for the occurrence of the offence. To deny the protection of Section 3 (2) (v) on the premise that the crime was not committed against an SC & ST person solely on the ground of their caste identity is to deny how social inequalities function in a cumulative fashion, the court said.
Also Read: Testimony Of Disabled Witness Cannot Be Considered Weak Or Inferior: SC Issues Guidelines To Make Criminal Justice System More Disabled-Friendly
233. Supreme Court Directs High Courts To Reconsider And Update Rules Relating To Execution Of Decrees
[Case: Rahul S Shah v. Jinendra Kumar Gandhi; Citation: LL 2021 SC 232]
A bench comprising former CJI SA Bobde, Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat directed the High Courts to reconsider and update all the Rules relating to Execution of Decrees, made under exercise of its powers under Article 227 of the Constitution of India and Section 122 of CPC, within one year.
The Court observed that in suits relating to delivery of possession, the court must examine the parties to the suit under Order X in relation to third party interest and further exercise the power under Order XI Rule 14 asking parties to disclose and produce documents, upon oath, which are in possession of the parties including declaration pertaining to third party interest in such properties.
Also Read: "Dispose Of Execution Proceedings Within Six Months From The Date Of Filing": Supreme Court Issues Directions To Reduce Delay
234. Supreme Court Dismisses Banks' Application To Recall Judgment Which Directed RBI To Disclose Loan Defaulters List, Inspection Reports Under RTI
[Case: Reserve Bank of India v Jayantilal N. Mistry; Citation: LL 2020 SC 233]
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran dismissed the applications filed by certain banks seeking to recall the 2015 judgment in the case Reserve Bank of India v Jayantilal N. Mistry which had held that the RBI was obliged to disclose defaulters list, inspection reports, annual statements etc., related to banks under the RTI Act.
The Bench observed that the Supreme Court Rules do not have any provision for filing any application for recall of a judgment. However, it has given liberty to the applicants to pursue other available legal remedies against the Jayantilal Mistry judgment.
235. Most Precious Fundamental Right To Life Unconditionally Embraces Even An Undertrial: Supreme Court in Sidhique Kappan Case
[Case: Kerala Union of Working Journalists v. Union of India; Citation: LL 2021 SC 234]
"The most precious fundamental 'right to life' unconditionally embraces even an undertrial," observed a bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna while directing to shift Kerala journalist Sidhique Kappan from Mathura Jail in Uttar Pradesh to a Government hospital in Delhi for medical treatment.
While considering the plea, the court noted from the Medical Report submitted before it that Kappan had tested COVID-19 Positive on 21st April, 2021, was having fever (T-102F) and had also suffered an injury as he fainted and fell down in the bathroom for which intervention of a surgeon was suggested. It was stated therein that he is having multiple health issues like diabetes, heart ailment, blood pressure and bodily injury. However, the next set of medical reports and the additional affidavit circulated by the State this morning show that he has tested COVID-19 Negative, the court noted.
Also Read: 'In UP Also, COVID Positive People Are Not Getting Hospital Beds', Solicitor General Tells Supreme Court In Siddique Kappan Case
236. Deduction Under Section 80-IA Income Tax Act Not Restricted To 'Business Income' Only: Supreme Court
[Case: Commissioner of Income Tax-I v. Reliance Energy Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 235]
A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran held that the scope of sub-section (5) of Section 80- IA of the Act is limited to determination of quantum of deduction under sub-section (1) of Section 80-IA of the Act by treating 'eligible business' as the 'only source of income'.
The court observed that the essential ingredients of Section 80-IA (1) of the Act are: a) the 'gross total income' of an assessee should include profits and gains; b) those profits and gains are derived by an undertaking or an enterprise from a business referred to in subsection (4); c) the assessee is entitled for deduction of an amount equal to 100% of the profits and gains derived from such business for 10 consecutive assessment years; and d) in computing the 'total income' of the Assessee, such deduction shall be allowed.
237. Don't Clampdown On Citizens' SOS Calls For Medical Help Through Social Media: Supreme Court Warns Of Contempt Action Against States, Police
[Case: In Re Distribution of Essential Supplies and Services During Pandemic; Citation: LL 2021 SC 236]
There should not be any coercive action against any citizen for putting out an SOS call on social media seeking medical help for COVID, said a Bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud, L. Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat.
The Court strictly said that contempt action will be taken against police officers who clampdown on citizens who ventilate their grievances with respect to COVID in public platforms. "If citizens communicate their grievance on social media and internet, then it cannot be said that it's wrong information," the Bench observed.
Also Read: Sharing Information Widely An Important Tool To Combat COVID : Supreme Court On SOS Calls In Social Media
238. Benefits Flowing From Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme Are Incentives And Are Not Part Of Pay: Supreme Court
[Case: Union of India v. RK Sharma; Citation: LL 2021 SC 237]
Benefits flowing from Assured Career Progression Scheme ('ACPS') and Modified ACPS (MACPS) are incentives and are not part of pay, a Bench comprising of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran observed.
It allowed Centre's appeal against the Delhi High Court direction to grant the second financial upgradation to the employees under the MACPS w.e.f. 01.01.2006 by relying upon a judgment in Union of India & Ors. v. Balbir Singh Turn.
Before the Apex Court, Centre submitted that in Balbir Singh Turn (supra), it was held that payment under the ACPS is a part of the pay structure whereas in a later judgment in Union of India and Ors. v. MV Mohanan Nair, it was held both ACP and MACP schemes are in the nature of incentive schemes. It was contended that the employees are entitled to the incentive under ACP Scheme which was in vogue till 31.08.2008 and they cannot seek applicability of MACPS w.e.f. 01.01.2006.
239. High Court Shall Apply Its Mind To The Entirety Of The Case While Deciding A Criminal Appeal, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: State of Uttar Pradesh v. Ambarish; Citation: LL 2021 SC 238]
A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah has reiterated that while deciding a criminal appeal on merits, the High Court is required to apply its mind to the entirety of the case including the evidence on the record before arriving at its conclusion.
It observed thus while allowing an appeal against an Allahabad High Court judgment which reversed the conviction of the accused by the Trial Court. In this case, the accused was convicted of an offence under Section 364A of the Penal Code and was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life, to a fine of Rs 5,000 and, in default, to undergo imprisonment for a period of one year. The Trial Court judgment was set aside by the High Court by allowing the appeal. The state, therefore, approached the Apex Court.
240. Minor Contradictions Can Not Be A Ground To Discredit Witnesses' Testimony In Criminal Trial, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Kalabhai Hamirbhai Kachhot v. State of Gujarat; Citation: LL 2021 SC 239]
A bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy reiterated that minor contradictions cannot be a ground to discredit the testimony of the witnesses in a criminal trial. "The contradictions which are sought to be projected are minor contradictions which cannot be the basis to discard their evidence... If the entire evidence of all the witnesses is examined with reference to medical and other evidence on record, it is clear that the prosecution has proved the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt", it observed in a case.
241. Supreme Court Upholds Constitutional Validity of the Rajasthan Schools (Regulation of Fee) Act; Reads Down Sections 4, 7 and 10
[Case: Indian School, Jodhpur v. State Of Rajasthan; Citation: LL 2021 SC 240]
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari upheld the constitutional validity of the Rajasthan Schools (Regulation of Fee) Act, 2016. "The dispensation envisaged under Section 6 of the impugned Act of 2016 is not intended to undermine the autonomy of the school Management in the matter of determination of fee structure itself. What it envisages is that the school Management may determine its own fee structure, but may finalise or give effect to the same after interacting with the SLFC", the Court clarified. However, the Court read down Sections 4, 7 and 10 of the Act that pertain to members and membership of the SLFC.
Also Read: State Regulation Of Profiteering By Schools Does Not Violate Managements' Fundamental Rights Under Article 19(1)(g): Supreme Court
Also Read: Supreme Court Directs Rajasthan Private Schools To Give 15% Deduction In Annual School Fees; No Student To Be Debarred For Non-Payment Of Fees
Also Read: Authorities Under Disaster Management Act Cannot Alter Fee Structure Of Private Schools: Supreme Court
242. "Encroachment Of State Legislature Upon The Domain Of Parliament": Supreme Court Strikes Down West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act
[Case: Forum for People's Collective Efforts v. State of West Bengal; Citation: LL 2021 SC 241]
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah struck down the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act, 2017, holding it to be unconstitutional in view of the 2017 Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act which is the central legislation on the identical subject-matter. However, with a view to prevent any chaos in the real estate industry in the state, the Court in exercise of its powers under Article 142, clarified that all sanctions and registrations previously granted under the HIRA prior to the date of this judgment shall continue to prevail
Also Read: Concept Of Repugnancy Under Article 254 : Supreme Court Explains
243. No Scope For Adopting Either A Liberal Or A Narrow Approach In Construing Contractual Clause, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) v. ES Solar Power Pvt. Ltd.; Citation: LL 2021 SC 242]
A Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran reiterated the principles for interpretation of a contract. "In seeking to construe a clause in a Contract, there is no scope for adopting either a liberal or a narrow approach, whatever that may mean. The exercise which has to be undertaken is to determine what the words used mean," it observed.
The Court observed thus while dismissing an appeal against a judgment of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity at Delhi by which the order passed by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) was reversed. KERC had dismissed the petitions filed against the reduction of the tariff payable by Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) from Rs. 6.10/kWh to Rs. 4.36/kWh and imposition of damages of Rs. 20,00,000/- for delay in commissioning the plan.
244. Supreme Court Strikes Down Maratha Quota; Says No Exceptional Circumstance To Grant Reservation In Excess Of 50% Ceiling Limit
[Case: Dr Jaishree Laxmanrao Patil v. Chief Minister; Citation: LL 2021 SC 243]
A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, L. Nageswara Rao, S. Abdul Nazeer, Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat has struck down the Maratha quota in excess of 50% ceiling limit as unconstitutional. The Court unanimously held that there were no exceptional circumstances justifying the grant of reservation to Marathas in excess of 50% ceiling limit as a Socially and Economically Backward Class. The Court has held by 3:2 majority that the 102nd Constitution Amendment has abrogated the power of states to identify "Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs)".
The Court also held that alteration of the content of state legislative power in an oblique and peripheral manner would not constitute a violation of the concept of federalism or basic structure of the Constitution.
Also Read: States Have No Power To 'Identify' Socially & Educationally Backward Classes After 102nd Constitution Amendment : Supreme Court Holds By 3:2 Majority
Also Read: 'To Change 50% Reservation Limit Is To Have A Society Which Is Not Founded On Equality But Based On Caste Rule': SC Refuses To Revisit Indra Sawhney Judgment
Also Read: Reservation In Public Services Not The Only Method For Improving Welfare Of Backward Classes; State Should Bring Other Measures: Supreme Court
Also Read: Alteration Of Content Of State Legislative Power In An Oblique & Peripheral Manner Would Not Constitute A Violation Of Basic Structure: Supreme Court
Also Read: Parliamentary Committee, Minister & AG Said 102nd Constitutional Amendment Won't Affect States' Power To Identify SEBCs; Supreme Court Holds Otherwise
Also Read: Will Maratha Quota Case Verdict Impact 10% EWS Quota Above 50% Ceiling Limit?
245. 'Citizens Have Right To Know What Transpires In Judicial Proceedings': Supreme Court Upholds Media's Freedom To Report Court Hearings
[Case: Election Commission of India v. MR Vijaya Bhaskar; Citation: LL 2021 SC 244]
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah upheld the freedom of media to report the oral observations and discussions made by judges and lawyers during a court proceeding. It held that freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) extends to reporting judicial proceedings as well. "The concept of an open court requires that information relating to a court proceeding must be available in the public domain. Citizens have a right to know about what transpires in the course of judicial proceedings", it observed.
The bench was delivering its judgment in a petition filed by the Election Commission of India seeking to restrain media from reporting oral remarks made by judges, after the Madras High Court orally said that the ECI "should probably be booked for murder" for being "singularly responsible for COVID second wave" by allowing election rallies.
Also Read: No Question Of Expunging Judges' Oral Remarks Which Are Not Part Of Judicial Record: Supreme Court In ECI Case
Also Read: Real Time Reporting Of Court Hearing In Social Media Not A Cause Of Apprehension; A Virtual Extension Of 'Open Court': Supreme Court
Also Read: Unless Live-streaming Sees Light Of The Day, Absence Of Records Of Oral Proceedings Would Continue To Bedevil The System: Supreme Court
246. Non-Examination Of Independent Witnesses Not Fatal To Prosecution Case, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Guru Dutt Pathak v. State of Uttar Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 245]
A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah reiterated that non-examination of independent witnesses is not fatal to the case of the prosecution when other prosecution witnesses are found to be trustworthy and reliable. The Court observed thus while dismissing an appeal against Allahabad High Court judgment which had reversed the judgment and order of acquittal passed by the trial Court acquitting the accused in a murder case. One of the accused approached the Apex Court by filing an appeal.
Before the Apex Court, he contended that all the prosecution witnesses, so called eyewitnesses, are all related and interested witnesses. It was further contended that no independent witness has been examined and that the prosecution witnesses are chance witnesses. Referring to the High Court judgment, the bench observed that when there are clinching evidence of eyewitnesses, mere non-examination of some of the witnesses/independent witnesses and/or in absence of examination of any independent witnesses would not be fatal to the case of the prosecution.
247. Orders Framing Charges Or Refusing Discharge Neither Interlocutory Nor Final; Not Affected By Bar U/Sec 397 (2) CrPC: Supreme Court
[Case: Sanjay Kumar Rai v. State of Uttar Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 246]
A bench comprising of CJI NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose held that orders framing charges or refusing discharge are neither interlocutory nor final in nature and are therefore not affected by the bar of Section 397 (2) of CrPC.
The Court observed thus while allowing appeal against the Allahabad High Court order which dismissed a Criminal Revision Petition against a Trial court order dismissing a discharge application. The High Court was of the view that it lacked jurisdiction under Section 397 of Cr.P.C to interfere with CJM order. It relied on Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency Pvt. Ltd. v. Central Bureau of Investigation (2018) 16 SCC 299 to hold that interference in the order framing charges or refusing to discharge is called for in rarest of rare case only to correct the patent error of jurisdiction.
248. Evidence Act - Proviso 6 To Section 92 Will Not Apply If The Document Is Straightforward With No Ambiguity: Supreme Court
[Case: Mangala Waman Karandikar (D) TR. LRS v.Prakash Damodar Ranad; Citation: LL 2021 SC 247]
A Bench comprising of CJI NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose held that the proviso 6 to Section 92 of the Evidence Act will not apply if a document is straightforward, without any ambiguity in meaning. The provision bars giving oral evidence with respect to the contents of a written document. However, proviso 6 to Section 92 allows the admission of facts external to the document which shows in what manner the language of a document is related to existing facts.
The Supreme Court was considering an appeal in which the question was whether the agreement in the case should be interpreted as a license to run a business or a license to occupy the rented premises in which the business was located.
249. No Arrests In Violation Of Arnesh Kumar Verdict; HPCs Should Release All Prisoners Who Were Released Earlier: SC Passes Directions To De-Congest Prisons
[Case: Re : Contagion Of Covid 19 Virus In Prisons; Citation: LL 2021 SC 248]
Taking note of the surge of the second wave of COVID pandemic, a bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Justices L Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant passed a slew of directions to de-congest prisons. It held that authorities should not make arrests in violation of the guidelines laid down in the 2014 judgment in the case Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar, which had held that arrests should be an exception in cases where the offences are punishable with less than 7 years imprisonment.
The Court also directed that the High Powered Committees constituted by the State Governments/Union Territories shall consider release of prisoners by adopting the guidelines (such as inter alia, SOP laid down by NALSA) followed by them last year, at the earliest. All those inmates who were granted parole, pursuant to Supreme Court's earlier orders, should be again granted a parole for a period of 90 days in order to tide over the pandemic.
Also Read: 'Some Prisoners Might Not Be Willing To Be Released Due To Their Social Background': Supreme Court Issues Directions To Prison Authorities For Protection Of Inmates From COVID
250. Witnesses' Evidence Cannot Be Discarded As A Whole Merely Because There Are Exaggerations, Reiterates Supreme Court
[Case: Achhar Singh v. State of Himachal Pradesh; Citation: LL 2021 SC 249]
A bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose observed that evidence given by a witness cannot be discarded as a whole on the ground that it is exaggerated. "To make a mountain out of a molehill, the molehill shall have to exist primarily. A Court of law, being mindful of such distinction is duty bound to disseminate 'truth' from 'falsehood' and sift the grain from the chaff in case of exaggerations", it observed.